A Look at 8 Key Male Archetypes for Your Novel

WritersWednesday

I found two awesome articles about Archetypes on C.S. Lakin’s blog and with her permission am sharing them for all you lovely people to see! Thank you so much C.S. for your insight and great resource! Here is the first article!

A Look at 8 Key Male Archetypes for Your Novel

While we don’t want to create cookie-cutter stereotyped characters, learning about archetypes can be tremendously helpful in character development. We’ve been talking about archetypes over the last week, so if you’ve missed some of these posts, start with this one.

The idea here is to find a type and go from there. Archetypes are all about personality and motivation, and by bringing in some of the traditional, established characteristics of specific archetypes, you can craft believable characters.

As I’ve mentioned in many posts, your novel or play or short story needs a cast of characters, unless your plot is about one person alone in the world (or some world).

These characters play various roles, and while the basic roles are ally, enemy(nemesis or antagonist), and lover, there is much more to consider than these general descriptions.

Some look at Greek gods as archetypes that can be utilized in character development, and if you modernize the qualities of these gods, you can see how you might transfer those over to your novel.

8 Basic Types for Male Characters

Let’s take a look at eight male character types, and as you read through them, think of how these types might possibly fit into your story. Don’t just pick a type because it’s interesting. Every character needs to serve the interests of your plot.

1) The Protector (Ares): He is all about being physical, spontaneous, impulsive. He will act first and think later. He wants to win, and he’s fiercely protective. He fears being constricted, bored, having to use his mind over body. He’s motivated by survival, and the extreme of this character can be violent, yearning to fight, with a poor self-image and bad temper.

2) The Businessman (Apollo): He is entrenched in his career, planning his life, competing, success. He fears failure in the workplace and getting too intimate. He keeps his emotional distance, afraid of rejection. He’s motivated by a need to succeed and a drive to compete. The extreme of this character tends to feel betrayed, wants revenge, is viciously competitive, and uses people.

3) The Recluse (Hades): The name tells all. He wants to be left alone, shuns others. He’s afraid of crowds, his emotions, of spinning out of control. His motivation springs from his need to understand himself and his world. In extreme, this type of man is antisocial, psychotic, terrified of rejection, intimidating, and shuns all affectionate relationships.

4) The Fool (Hermes): This character is a free spirit, seeking freedom, reckless adventures, often an eternal child (Puer Aeternas). He can also be very positive in his childlike, accepting ways. He fears losing his freedom, getting bored, being committed to relationships or deals. His motivation stems from the need to know and the desire to try everything. The extreme of this character is seen in the con man, one who hates authority, is self-absorbed, disregards law and propriety, lacks empathy.

5) The Lady’s Man (Dionysus): He’s all about sex, romance, flirting, pleasure. Physical satiation above all else. He fears losing appeal, losing his youth and virility, and avoids commitment or feeling trapped. He’s motivated by a deep need for love and acceptance, or a drive to win or seek fleeting pleasures to give him a sense of fulfillment. The extreme of this character can be possessive, abusive, disloyal, explosive.

6) The Messiah (Osiris): The male face of this archetype is all about being male, the power of the male personality, and the male psyche. He is concerned with healing the soul more than the body. He fears failure of his quest or purpose, being misunderstood or not taken seriously. He’s motivated by his desire to help others, sacrifice himself for the greater good. He’s driven by great purpose or vision and willing to battle whoever stands in his way. The extreme of this character is harshly critical of others who oppose his views, overly passionate so that he breaks others’ spirits and egos. He feels he is always right and all should believe the way he believes, and those who don’t, he punishes.

7) The Artist (Poseidon): He cares about his creativity, expressing his emotions. He worries what others think of him and wants to be treated fairly. He tries to appear he’s in control and is strong, though he often suffers self-doubt. He’s motivated by a drive to be admired, to be important, to stand out from the crowd. The extreme of this character is deceitful, manipulative, playing games with people’s hearts, reckless and angry, without boundaries and easily enraged. He’ll also hold a grudge forever.

8) The King (Zeus): He rules his kingdom—those in his life. He longs to be admired and in charge, respected, even worshipped. He wants to be the best of the best and pushes himself to get there. He fears competition—that someone will rise above him—someone younger, faster, stronger. He’s motivated by a strong need for approval and recognition and power. The extreme of this character is domineering, arrogant, oppressive, harsh, and often humiliates others.

Taking the Types a Step Further

What could you do with a Protector type? I mentioned last week how my hero in my new novel, Colorado Dream, is a perfect protector. He’s a kind of bad boy, walking on the wild side. This type might be very charismatic, volatile.

A Businessman type could be a leader of a bank, an Army platoon, a think tank. He might be a workaholic. He might be the guy who makes great decisions, motivates others, takes on responsibility.

The Recluse could be a troubled coworker. Or a serial killer. He might be the outcast in a classroom, tormented, brooding. A great “red herring” character who all tend to blame.

The Fool could also be a strong, quiet good friend who advises. Who’s faithful and supportive, doesn’t cause waves and is unassertive. He could be Mr. Nice Guy or the listening ear at work.

The Lady’s Man is a charmer, smooth talker. He might get so lost in his fantasies, his “real life” is falling apart. Some other possible characteristics are his flair for drama, his enthusiasm, ability to manipulate.

The Messiah might be a knowledgeable professor or scientist that has the answers. He might be a computer nerd who is neurotic about getting all the answers. He can be amazingly creative but stubborn and inflexible. He could be picky, hating change or anything that disrupts his life.

The Artist is the guy in the room who adds the spark. He’s adventurous, fun-loving, craving excitement, and can be wholly unreliable and foolhardy. You see in him the daredevil or the explorer. He can spur on your protagonist to make a scary choice, or he can be an antagonist that leads your hero into trouble.

The King might be your hero, idealistic, a champion, acting with honor. Or he might be your heroine’s love interest or a character who noble ideals and principles inspires your hero. He might be the avenger of wrongs or the knight in shining armor.

Supporting Friends

Other archetypal roles can be found in The Magi (the voice of wisdom, the one who helps empower your hero), the Mentor (who freely offers good advice and wants to come alongside your hero), and the Best Friend or Lover.

Think about all the male characters, major and minor, you have in your novel. See how these various traits might enrich them and create conflict. You might need to add a few more characters in there, to create a wider palette of character dynamics.

What archetype intrigues you the most? Which one best fits your primary male character in your story, and which particular characteristic do you like in him? (And can you sing the Underdog theme?)

Editors & Critique Partners & Beta Readers Oh My! Writers Wednesday

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Hey Everyone!  So there are many things you need to do for your book once you finish it. Now I know that your first draft is amazing. It’s perfect and doesn’t need to be touched but let’s think for a minute that maybe it does. Let’s think that maybe it could be made stronger, nipped, tucked and polished a bit. 

 

A lot of authors make the mistake of trying to get their work out too quick. They query twenty agents and get standard form rejections. Then they move to publishers and get a dozen rejections and think, oh well, I’ll just self publish it. When what they should be doing is taking a step back to figure out why they are being rejected.

 

So here is a quote from Ernest Hemingway:

The first draft of anything is crap! 

 

Now I don’t necessarily agree with him. Not all of it is crap. Some of it is good. But never is it great. And never is it publishable. It takes time and editing to get it great and make it publishable. So what do you do? How do you know how what to do to make it better?

 

People are often surprised to hear how many times I edit a piece before giving it to an editor. So here is my process.

 

I write a draft. It usually takes about a month to write it. Then I let it sit and marinate. After that I edit it all the way through about two to three times. From there I go through my editing checklist and clean up the book. After that I send it out to get critiqued. 

 

Stage One – Critique Partners

You need one amazing or two awesome critique partners to look over your book and tell you exactly what they think. Not your mom or your best friend or your husband – Unless they are a published author. But people who know what they are doing and will tell you the total truth. They should tell you any character, plot, pacing, grammatical and typo issues. They should tell you what they like and do not like. They should kick your butt and tell you everything that is wrong with your book along with what is right. And you should not take it personally. They are trying to help you. They want you to succeed. 

 

Stage Two – You Edit

After you get those critiques back you edit it again with your partners’ notes. You don’t have to take all of their notes but you do need to at least keep an open mind to them. After you have edited the story again, you are almost done. You may feel at this point you’re done. That it is as good as it is going to get. But hold on.

 

Stage Three A – Editor 

At this point you may decide to hire a freelance editor to look at it. There are different kinds of editors so make sure you get the right one. A developmental editor will look at your overall story and plot and characters and tell you any problems. Copy Editors look for grammatical, plot, typo and other kinds of problems. Smaller than the big story or plot. Proofreaders simply look for typo and grammatical errors, that’s all. I suggest you get recommendations for editors instead of just picking one from the internet. Also most editors will do a free sample so they can see your writing and you can see their style. Always get a free sample. Look at their credentials and any recommendations they may have. There are a lot of people who call themselves editors that shouldn’t be. Be proactive in your search and make sure you find a good fit for you. What might work for your friend may not be what you need.

 

Stage Three B – Beta Readers

If you choose to skip paying an editor then you go to Beta Readers. Beta Readers are different than Critique partners. Your beta readers will give you their overall impressions of the book. Did they like it? Did they not? Where there characters they didn’t like or inconsistencies you missed. They will also grab any last typos for you. I usually have a minimum of 3 beta readers because 3 sets of eyes are better than one at this stage.

 

Stage Four – You Edit

This is it. Your last pass. You go through it and edit all the things your beta readers caught. Then maybe you go through it another time. Or maybe you want to never look at it again and you set it aside. 

 

So now are you done? Nope. Now you write a Logline, Tagline, Blurb and Synopsis. Then you polish the heck out of those. And when that is done, then you have a package ready to go. 

 

Now you notice I didn’t mention critique groups. Those are great but they are no longer in my process because I write too fast and they move to slow. Writer’s groups are a wonderful tool if you get into one with the following criteria. 1) There are published writers in the group. 2) The people are there to do more than just get your approval 3) They know how to critique.

Critique groups can be very helpful but beware because everyone has their own ideas as to what you should do with your story. You may end up with six conflicting ideas as to what you need to work on. But here is a piece of advice I got that I apply to all critiques and why I always use 2-3 people for everything. 

 

“If two or more people say you’re drunk. You’re Drunk! Sit Down!”

 

What that means is, if two or more people are telling you that you have the same problem with your work, you really should look at it because it’s probably a problem. If one person says it, then think about it and see if you agree. If two or more tell you, then it might have merit. If two people tell you your character has no arc, then they probably don’t. If they tell you that you could do away with a scene, you probably can. People will always have different opinions and they won’t always agree with you, it’s up to you to pick and choose what you want to listen to. But if you go with a publisher, in the end, they will probably have the last say.

 

So what about you? What’s your process after you finish a book?

5 Things I Learned about Self Publishing the Hard Way – Writers Wednesday

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5 Things I Learned about Self Publishing the Hard Way!

This is the third in my series on Self Publishing. If you missed the first blog post in this series you can find it HERE! And the Second is HERE!

So this week I want to give you a few tips on things that I learned the hard way when I started self publishing.

I started out 2 years ago with a small indie publisher with my book Dead Awakenings and then moved on and sold my series The Society, to Kensington. But soon realized that the only way for me to release 3 or more books a year in a series was for me to publish them myself.

My series, Fairelle is slated to be 8 books and a handful of novellas with possibly a short story or two as well. If I went to a traditional publisher I’d be writing that series for ten years or more; and with over fifty book ideas in my brain, I couldn’t wait that long.

So, I started reading what I could find on self publishing and what I needed to know and I became a wealth of information. Even so, with all the information out there, there were a few things that no one talked about that I think need to be. Things that can kill you if you don’t do them, or can at least take you a lot of time.

overwhelmed man asking for help

1) Editing is going to take you ten times as long as writing.

If you are going to self publish you need a professional editor, at least two critique partners that are great and a handful of beta readers. It isn’t enough to edit yourself or have your mom edit for you, unless she is an amazing published author. You need a professional editor to look at your work with an objective eye and tell you what is wrong with it, even though you may not like it. But before you do that though, you need to edit the book at least a couple times yourself and then have two amazing critique partners look at it for you. People you trust who have been published. Then after they’ve edited it, you need to edit it at least one or two times more. I tend to edit my self published works a minimum of seven times. Then you need beta readers who will go through it with a fine toothed comb and find all the mistakes grammatically and typos. This can take anywhere from two to four months. Possibly more. Do not skimp out on this or you’ll pay for it in reviews. Don’t go into this thinking that you’ll be in and out in two months. There is a reason that publishing usually takes six months. So be sure to have many stories to work on so you are consistently rolling them out several times a year.

Freaked out business woman with a hammer ready to smash her laptop computer

2) Format only if you REALLY know how!

Do you have Scrivener? No? Then pay someone to format your book for you. Seriously. I mean it. I am not joking! Formatting your book can take a lot of time if you don’t know how. And I mean, REALLY know how. You are better to pay 25.00 to Marie Force’s Formatting Fairies (No I am no affiliated with them at all) to format the darn thing for you.

However, if you have Scrivener, it’s super easy. So, get Scrivener. And then go on youtube and watch a few videos and you’ll be set. I used to pay Marie Force. Then I got Scrivener and now I do it myself because Scrivener makes it so easy. But before I did, I spent two months trying to format my first book. And in the end, I paid Marie.

Business concept Red life buoy with hands in the water High resolution

3) Using Draft 2 Digital is a lifesaver in the beginning!

(Again, I’m not affiliated with them)

So again, you can upload your book yourself to Amazon, BN, Itunes, Kobo, ARE and every other outlet on the planet and it might take you a month to do it all. Why? Because each system is different and each system has different errors and each system wants you to upload something in a different format, size, style, but really? Why bother?

You can upload to D2D and they take a small percentage and then click all the outlets (except ARE) and Bam! You’re done! They take care of everything. You don’t have to worry about if payments came in for this outlet or that outlet. You don’t have to fill out a million tax forms. If you want to lower a price you do it in one place, not every one individually. Yes, you could use Smashwords instead of D2D, but Smashwords and I have a hate/hate relationship. I never once got my books to go through their system correctly even when paying a professional and I find their customer service to be non-existent!

So for the beginning, starting out, I suggest you use a service like D2D and save yourself a lot of time. I still make more with them taking out their percentages than I do on Amazon, by far.

boss day vintage lettering chalk background 10 eps

4) It’s all up to you!

That is the good and the bad of it. You can set your own price. When you release. How long the book is. What you put in it. How you market it. It’s all your choice. But ultimately, it’s all on your shoulders as well.

Do you know what to price it at? Have you studied to see what price point is selling best? Do you know which months are the worst for a release? The best? Do you know the typical word count for your genre or what people expect from certain genres? Do you know bloggers? Or Marketers? Where to market and spend your money? Do you know what keywords to use? All of that can be a big burden and you need to learn it before you release, not after.

5) A Million people are doing it. Do you stand out?

I wish someone had told me how hard it was to stand out in a marketplace where there are over a million books a year being self published. The good, the bad, the ugly, it doesn’t matter. When you are self publishing you are competing not only against the other self pubs but the traditionals as well that are getting a lot more marketing dollars than you are. You have to find your niche what makes you stand apart and use it. I’m teaching three classes at Savvy this next year about these very things.

Self publishing can be fun and tremendously rewarding. But you have to go into it with your eyes open, otherwise you will drown. Best of luck! Feel free to ask any questions you might have!

Rebekah R. Ganiere – Books with a Bite

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3 Things to Ask Yourself Before Self Publishing – Writers Wednesday

WritersWednesday

3 Things to Ask Yourself Before Self Publishing

Welcome to the first in a series of self publishing posts. Millions of people have flocked to the self publishing boom, which has led to both wonderful and tragic results. Thousands of people jumped on the band wagon of self publishing, followed the trends and flooded the market with stories both long and short in an effort to either jump start a career or make a few easy bucks. But then there are others who genuinely wanted to self publish for their own reasons. Whether it be the flexibility, total control or because of backlist sitting and collecting dust.

When I started writing my only desire was to jot down the stories in my head and maybe print a couple copies to sit on my shelf. Nothing more. However, after my critique group read my first book, Dead Awakenings, and told me that I needed to publish it I got the idea that maybe publishing with a big publisher might be nice. So I pursued a traditional publisher and sold.

After that I sold my series, The Society, to Kensington and I realized something. For all of the wonderful things that traditional publishers could offer me, one thing that couldn’t be offered was more than one, or max two, books being released in a year.

My fairytale retelling series, Fairelle, was due to have nine books and seven novellas and I knew I didn’t want to be writing that series for eight years. With over sixty book ideas in my head at present I needed to be putting out at least three books a year in that series for my own sanity. So I decided to self publish.

Self publishing is a personal decision and different for everyone, but there are several things you should ask yourself before you self publish.

1) Am I ready to do everything it takes? The marketing, formatting, writing, editing, uploading, taxes, ARCs, barcodes, ISBN’s, etc.

You have to be both author and publisher. It becomes a real business when you decide to self publish. Your business.

You wouldn’t open a retail business without expertise or having employees lined up with expertise. You wouldn’t open the doors to said store without having ever taken a business class or knowing your market. Becoming your own publisher is a business. It’s a full time job and needs to have all of its facets looked at before dive in. So do your research and get your ducks in a row first.

2) Am I only doing this because I keep being rejected or because it’s what I really want?

If you are being rejected over and over have you looked at why? Is it because you don’t fit into a genre or is it because your story, plot or characters need work? Any weaknesses your book has will not go away simply because you self publish.

Lots of people self publish for great reasons. Lack of being picked up because of story issues isn’t always a great one. It’s true that sometimes your story just doesn’t fit into the small box that traditional publishing is looking for. But you need to make sure that it isn’t because of other problems. Those problems will do nothing more than lead to bad reviews and poor sales.

3) Do I have the time and money involved in do it all myself and doing it right?

Editors cost money. Good cover art costs money. Ads and marketing all costs money. ISBN’s, proofreading, formatting, and and and… On average it costs me up to a thousand dollars to publish one of my books. You need to plan on at least half that to publish right.

And if you plan on doing it all yourself (see above comment about expertise) to save money, how much time will it take you to do all of that yourself? Hours, Days, Months. It takes a lot.

So before you decide to self publish, ask yourself why you want to and if you have what it takes to get it done. If so, it can be one of the best experiences you will ever have. If not it can leave you bitterly disappointed.

Rebekah R. Ganiere – Books with a Bite

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Me, Me, Me Monday!

Hey everyone! Welcome again to Me, Me, Me Monday. I want to start by telling you how excited I am. Red the Were Hunter, which is the first book in my Fairelle Series has finalled in another contest. I found out yesterday.

I am super excited because this is the second contest it has placed in and this it the first book that I am self publishing. It is being released on May 1st.

So, to talk a bit about where I left off last week, I got lots of great advice from other amazing Self Publishers. And one of the best pieces of advice is do first things first. Write the book. Well, I’m assuming that most people are there or almost there. The next is, don’t just put it up there. You need to edit it, and edit it, and edit it and you need to then have someone else edit it. You need critique partners, good ones, beta readers, and then when you’re done with that, you need to hire a freelance editor to look at it. YES, YOU DO! You make think you don’t but you do.

There are lots of great freelancers who aren’t outrageously priced that are excited to work with indie writers. You may not agree with everything they say, that’s your prerogative, seeing is how it’s your book, but you do need other sets of eyes on your book that don’t know everything you know.

So the first piece of advice that I got was, get a freelance editor. In the same vein, also get a proofreader. I have one I love, but if you can’t afford one, get a critique partner who is really good with proofreading to look it over at minimum.

So there is my first piece of advice for self publishing. Next week we’ll talk a little about should you, or should you not, start your own publishing company. Have a great week!

 

Me, Me, Me Monday – My Self Publishing Journey

Okay, so I’ve had a few people ask me to chronicle my adventure into self publishing. For those of you that don’t know, I am self publishing my series Fairelle. A nine book, seven novella series of Fantasy Fairytale Retellings. So every Monday for the next bunch of weeks, I say bunch because it won’t be a few, it’ll be more than a few, but it won’t be forever either, so I’m just sticking with bunch. Anyway, so for the next bunch of Mondays I will be posting about my journey.

It started last year when I was trying to place my first novel Dead Awakenings. I had trouble at first finding a home for it and a friend mention to me that novellas are great for authors early in the careers to try and get their names out. So I then said, “Okay, what would I want to write as novellas?” It took a while but I finally came up with the idea of a series of Fairytale retellings that of course were Paranormal, but also where the characters moved from book to book. I started with Little Red Riding Hood and from there mapped out eight more books:

Red the Were Hunter, Snow the Vampire Slayer, Zelle and the Tower, Cinder the Fae, Belle and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty the Dragon Rider, Rumplestiltskin, The Little Neriadian and Swan Lake.

I knew immediately that I wanted these books to be released at least one every four months. They’re only 55-58k long, so I figured, no big deal. Well…Then I got a couple of cotracts on my other books and realized that it takes publishers 6 months to 18 months to get a book to market. Even a digital first book. At that rate I’d be writing this series for the next eight to sixteen years! Well, anyone who knows me knows I have TERRIBLE, and wonderful Adult ADD. So, that wasn’t going to work for me.

From there I realized I really wanted say over my cover art. Like, REALLY wanted it! I used to be a graphic designer and so good cover art was crazy important to me with this series. Then what I found out was my books didn’t really fit anyone’s expected lengths. Novellas are typically 30-50k and novels are typically 60-75k. Well, mine fell through the cracks. And even though I added to Red and made it 58k, it still wasn’t quite long enough and I felt that if I added to it, I would just be adding to add, and not really doing the story or plot any good. So I decided against it.

Now, let me tell you! For MONTHS I kicked against the pricks! “No!” I told myself. “You will publish this series traditionally!” But for months it seemed no matter what I did, things just didn’t work out.

Now, I should interject here that my husband has been begging me from the beginning of my writing carreer to self publish, but I’ve fought him tooth and nail. Just like I fight him on everything. Why? Well it isn’t because I don’t think he’s a genius. He is. It isn’t that I don’t love him. I do. I just like things to be my idea 🙂 Anyway, finally I decided enough was enough. I was going to self publish them!

So from that decision, I began moving forward and asking every self publisher I knew their secrets and advice. The more I asked the better I felt. The better I felt, the more excited I got! But if you want to hear about some of the things I heard, you’ll have to come back next Monday for more Me, Me, Me Monday 🙂

Thanx for stopping by!

 

Romance Weekly Blog Chat

Chat

Welcome Once more to Romance Weekly! The wonderful questions were provided by Author JJ Devine. Here’s how it works!

Do you like to read romance novels? Wouldn’t you like to know more about your favorite authors? Well you came to the right place! Join the writers of Romance Weekly as we go behind the scenes of our books and tell all….. About our writing of course! Every week we’ll answer questions and after you’ve enjoyed the blog on this site we’ll direct you to another. So come back often for a thrilling ride! Tell your friends and feel free to ask us questions in the comment box.

When someone finds out you’re an author, how do you handle the statement, “I have a story you should write”?

Uhm…I’ve never actually had someone say that! I do get a lot of people who say, “I have a book I want to write. It’s a…” I get a lot of that and I have to bite my tongue every time to not tell them how hard it is and how much you have to learn and work and about all the rejections and editing and editing and editing. I smile and say, “Oh that’s cool!” And then wait and if they start and asking for my advice I give a few pointers and tell them were to go to start and that’s all. I wish them luck. Writing a book is longer and harder than you initially think. But it is soooooo worth it!

Do you write what you read?

Yes and no. I read Paranormal Romance. I love it and Urban Fantasy, YA and several others. But right now I’m not reading much because I am writing so much. I am currently finishing up edits on two books. About to get into edits on a third book and polishing a novella for submission. Between that and being a Mom, I don’t have much time to read.

People often mistake the lifestyle of a writer as glamorous, give us the scoop, what about your lifestyle would shock your readers?

I spend 75% of my time at home in my pajamas writing on my bed when I’m not homeschooling my kids and being a mom. Being a writer is fun, creative and rewarding, but it’s not too glamorous. At least not yet. Maybe someday it will be glamorous. And by glamorous I mean that I’ll be able to hire a house cleaner to come in every other week so I don’t have to scrub toilets anymore or pull moldy food out of the back of the fridge 🙂

Now please move on to the great Carrie Elks and find out her answers! http://www.carrieelks.com/blog

How to Sell a lot of Books

Have any of you read Kristen Lamb’s blog?  What?  You haven’t?  Are you a writer?  You are!  Then why the heck haven’t you?  Seriously!  That blog is full of all the information you will ever need, ever.  Okay that might be a slight exaggeration, but it isn’t far off.  Her blog is full of the best advice out there.  So here’s the link:

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2013/08/09/the-single-best-way-to-sell-a-lot-of-books/

Recently she had an article, The Single Best Way to Sell A Lot of Books.  It was great and I had a feeling I knew what she was going to say, and Yippee for me, I did!  Guess that means I’m learning!  Anyway, she talks about writing a great book and that one of the major things about writing a great book is having a great beginning because most people won’t go past the 5th page if it isn’t a great beginning.

I’m struggling with that right now with one of my books.  I had the beginning starting one place and the editor on it suggested that it was a bit slow.  I told her I had a prologue for the book that was really fast, she said, “Then you should make that your first chapter.”  And she is totally right.  I absolutely should.

I know that agents and editors won’t look past the first 5 pages and if you don’t get them on the first page they won’t even go past that!  It’s a tough world and a tough business, and they don’t have the time to waste on books that don’t grab them.  Why should they?  There are a million other books out there that will.

I recently started a very popular book and found the first chapter confusing and not very interesting.  I said, “Okay, I’ll give it a few more pages.” 30 pages in, I put it down because it didn’t get any better.  However, I have OCD about finishing books, so I am terribly conflicted every time I see that book, sitting on my overstuffed bookshelf, looking at my with its puppy dog eyes, okay werewolf eyes, and begging me to give it one more try.  But honestly, all the other books on those overstuffed shelves stare at me as well and every time I look at “said” sad book, the other glare at me accusingly and wonder what makes that one so special when I still haven’t given them their chance.  So there in lies my conflict.  I wonder if it is that way for other people as well.

I just put down one book, that I have been trying to get through for a year, at the second to last chapter because I just couldn’t go any further.  I tried so hard.  And I liked the book, but it just was so poorly written IMO that I just couldn’t.  Besides, I kind of cheated, I’ve seen the movie so I know how it ends. DON’T HATE ME!  As an author I cringe saying that, but it’s true in this case.

Anyway, The fact is, if you want to sell books, you have to grab people by the lapels, shove them into a seat, duck tape them there without their knowledge and keep them so engrossed that they don’t know what time it is.  And you have to do that from page one.  If you don’t, you’re as good as dead.  That’s the world we live in people.  High octane, get the blood pumping from the first moment, or get out of the way.

So many blogs, So little time!

There are so many amazingly great resources out there for new authors, old authors, thinking about being an author.  I find new blogs, helps, articles, workshops, twitter and facebook feeds, daily.  Yes, I know.  I spend way too much time searching the internet and not nearly enough writing.  But, what does all of that searching get me?  A whole bunch of wonderful information!

So today I am listing a few of them here, so that I can keep track of them, and so it might help someone else out 🙂

So here we go: First and foremost – Autocrit.com www.Autocrit.com I have mentioned this one several times before, but I love it!  It helps you edit your work so that you can catch all the little things that are easily fixed by you the writer so you don’t make your editor work twice as hard, or drive them crazy.  It’s fast, it’s simple, and it’s a life saver.  Use it!  Buy a membership!  Do it, just do it.  Thank me later!

Next is – Onomatopoeia Word list http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2009/12/29/onomatopoeia-word-list/ I think this is a fun page.  It has word like guffaw and kerplunk on it.  It has a wide range of strange, fun, and lively words to use instead of the same old boring ones  like laugh, and dropped.

This one, I wish I had known two months ago when I started my Fairelle Series.  I have already used over twenty names and I am only in book two.  That added to my six other novels which each have close to fifteen characters a piece, I really grasping for new names! http://www.20000-names.com/ I am not sure I can do more justice to the website than the title does for itself.  20,000 names.  Just as it implies, that’s what the site is.

The next is a commonly confused word PDF. that I got off of L.Z. Marie’s blog.  It is a great PDF to have on hand so that you can tell the difference  between except and accept.  Effect and affect.
http://lzmarieauthor.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Commonly-confused-2.pdf

Also, a note on Lzmarieauthor.com  She has a great bunch of posts on everything from animals to mythical creatures.  If you are looking for a great blog with an encyclopedia’s worth of information, that I personally think she should turn into an ebook and sell, but that’s just me 🙂

I only recently started really paying attention to this next blog.  But it is so chocked full of amazing social media information, I could spend a week straight guzzling caffeine and reading it through bloodshot sleep deprived eyes to glean all the amazing information!
http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/
She has so great help out there with platform building, blogging, twittering and facebooking.  A must for all new authors!

Stay tuned this week for more links to more great blogs and sites!

Snow The Vampire Slayer

I have been a busy girl this last month or so.  Every since I came back from the National RT Convention I have been go, go, go with writing, plotting, editing, and submitting.  I have enjoyed it, hated, it, dreaded it, dragged my brain to do it and then been sparked by something cool and raced to do it with the glee of a child with a brand new toy.

It has been a most interesting experience.  In this journey over the past few months.  I have plotted out 10 new books.   9 of them are in my Fairelle Series and 1 is the first in my Wolves of Sparta Series.

I was able to finish and edit Red The Were Hunter, and start submitting it.  Along with finishing a first draft of Snow The Vampire Slayer.  Both of which have been a lot of fun and now have my brain waded out deep into the waters of Fairy Tale Land.  It is cool to be building the terrain and world of Fairelle.  Unlike the fairytales of old, my lands are not all sunny skies and green grass.  Some of it is, but there are enough dark places as well, that I find much more fun to write about.

Today I am off to plot out the second half of my book Angels and Demons, and to continue to edit Snow.  Then I will dash down to my office, where I will sew three more dresses for my daughters and a vest for my son, and on Wednesday we will drive down to Comic Con for a bunch of geeky fun.

I am excited to have a bit of a family vacation with my husband and kids and go down and see Comic Con for the first time and possibly LEGOLAND.  Which my kids are crazy about going to.  It will be nice to let my brain relax for a few days before coming back and hitting my books again.

Until then, all of my vampires, werewolves, zombies, succubae, dragons, prince and princesses, witches, wizards and fae, will have to hang out and shout at me in my head, until I can get their stories down on the page.  Sorry guys.  Mommy needs a break!