Tag Archives: writing

Learning How To Write with Michael LaRocca

Michael LaRocca of MichaelEdits.com

Michael LaRocca of MichaelEdits.com

As a student of Spanish, my goal was to think in Spanish. Skip the word-by-word translation so I’d have the necessary speed to speak and listen. I know words in Spanish that I’d be hard pressed to translate. Usually profanity, I confess. Chingow!

For years my students here in China have studied grammar, and know it better than you or I. They read. They write. But speaking involves moving faster than that. In conversation, we don’t have time to write it first and make sure it’s all grammatically flawless, then read it aloud, perhaps after a bit of rehearsal.

So, I try to give them a chance to practice putting words together on the fly, rules be damned. The rules they’ve internalized will kick in and keep them comprehensible, which will build their confidence in their ability to keep creating conversation that way.

This is not unlike what we go through as authors. First we study rulebooks, perhaps take some classes, and conclude just about everything we’re is doing is wrong. So many rules to memorize. We might dread sitting down to write with all those constraints.

But really, it’s not about memorizing rules at all. It’s about internalizing the rules, following them (or not if you prefer) without being consciously aware of what they are. They’re there, but in the background.

The story’s what matters. You’re supposed to be having fun, not “working.” At least not during the creation phase.

We don’t always take the time to say, “I’ve written ten active sentences in a row so maybe I’ll whip in a passive one now” or “I need a beat for every X lines of dialogue.” I published four novels and edited dozens more before I learned what a beat was. (It’s a pause so the reader can catch his/her breath.)

And, of course, since it is writing and not speaking, we can always go back and revise later. Then rely on editors to catch what we missed, or at least make us wonder why we wrote it this way instead of that way.

Some authors aren’t even consciously aware of “the rules.” They’ve never taken a class, never read a book about writing. They’re simply avid readers who one day decided to write. But they’ve internalized the rules. It comes from reading.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If you want to write, you must read. If you don’t like reading, maybe writing isn’t for you. It’s not about writing because you want to say, “I am a writer.” It’s about writing because you enjoy writing.

And, it’s really nice when you’ve been writing for a long time to go back and read a book about how to write. You might find one or two things to tweak in your technique, as opposed to a daunting laundry list of flaws. It’s much easier to internalize one or two new rules than 50 or 100.

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I’ve been paid to edit since 1991 and still love it, which has made people question my sanity, but they were doing that before I started editing. I got serious about my writing in 1978. Although I’ve retired more times than Brett Favre, I’m writing my 19th book. Learn more about me at MichaelEdits.com.

© Michael LaRocca 2019

Why Do Writers Write? Can They Profit From It?

Why do writers write? There are varying reasons from the basic desire to share ideas with others to the simple joy of the act itself. I’m one of those writers who does it because I enjoy it. I always have. Since the day I learned how to write, I’ve been writing in some way, shape, or form. When my high school friends went off to cheerleading practice or music lessons after school, I went home to write. Every single day. So, this has never been a chore for me; it’s always been my love and passion. If I never earned a dime from it, I would still write every day.

Why Do Writers Write if Most Earn Very Little Money From It?

In his article titled “Why Do Writers Write?” on the Psychology Today website, author Lawrence R. Samuel ponders:

Why do writers write

Why do writers write?

With rejection and criticism so much a part of the literary experience (and the fact that the income of the average American writer hovers around the poverty line), one has to wonder if writers have at least a streak of masochism in their genetic makeup to choose it as their profession.

This belief that most writers are doomed to a life of poverty seems to be the consensus among writers and non-writers everywhere. I think it is one of the top fears that prevent most “closet authors” from coming out to share their work with others. They may wonder, “What’s the point?” and opt for other seemingly more lucrative careers. But what if I told you times are changing? What if I told you that more and more authors are proving you can, indeed, earn a decent living from writing? I’ve done a lot of research on this topic matter over the past two years. You can imagine how thrilled I was to learn that it is possible to actually profit from my lifelong love and passion.

How Are Today’s Authors Earning a Decent Living from Writing?

Organic Web Weaving

Organic Web Weaving

If you’re like most writers, you don’t want to have to sell your books after you write them. You just want to move onto writing the next book. Am I right? Well, here’s some great news for you: writing is selling in the online world. The best way to sell books today is to utilize the power of search engines by feeding them new content on a consistent basis. Here are five simple steps to guide you:

 1. Create a WordPress or Blogger site for yourself (if you don’t already have one).

 2. Research and find the top 156 keywords for your genre/topic matter.

 3. Write and publish at least three new blog posts per week for a year (for a total of 156 posts) related to your genre/topic matter.

 4. Promote your blog posts and books on social media daily to keep the search engines happy.

 5. Publish 12 ebooks per year (one per month) at a minimum of 5,000 words each (equivalent to one chapter of a standard-size book). Then, at the end of the year, combine those 12 ebooks into one paperback and publish it the following month. “Lather, rinse, repeat” each year to build a momentum.

Why do writers write? Maybe the newest reason is because it’s actually possible to earn a profit from doing what you love!

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How to Hit a Writing Deadline

Oh, deadlines. The bane of most people’s existences. But, in my opinion, absolutely necessary for a writer if your goal is to publish your book in this lifetime.

Deadlines can be difficult for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, they feel too short and you find yourself putting all of your energy into one project which leads to you neglecting other things. Other times, you may put it off until the last minute and then rush like crazy to get everything done on time.

Either way, when you’re given a deadline (whether it’s self-imposed or imposed by another person), you have to do everything in your power to hit it. So, how do you do this?

Plan Out Your Time

I know. I keep saying this. Because it’s important!

Don’t just wing it and hope for the best. Before you start, plan things out and figure out roughly how much time it’s going to take to knock out this particular book project. Then, spread it out over time and leave yourself some wiggle room in case things change or go wrong. Be diligent, but also be flexible.

I know how many words I can write per hour. So I plan things accordingly, breaking it down by hours per day of writing, then by week, then by month, et cetera. I know in advance how many pages or chapters I plan to accomplish within each time slot.




I acknowledge that not everyone likes the idea of a writing plan (a.k.a. an book outline), as indicated in this earlier guest post by Jennifer D. Foster titled The Ins and Outs of Outlines: Plotters Versus Pantsers. I personally never used an outline for any of my fictional novellas, but I started using one for my non-fiction books and have continued with this ever since. I find myself way more productive when I’m working with a set of plans and deadlines. I keep promises to myself.

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute

When you plan out your time, stick to the plan.  Make sure you keep your promises to yourself, too. Create a rewards system, if possible, that allows for you to get what you want if you get your job done. Give yourself a cookie. Literally. Whatever helps you to stay on task.

Ask Questions and Get Answers Quickly

If you have a question during your book research, consult Google for an immediate answer instead of spending all day ruminating. The Internet is a great start in terms of helping you find the resources you may need to complete your project. It can also provide you with the citations you’ll need for your bibliography at the back of a non-fiction book. (Just make sure you fact-check the things you’re finding.)

Deadlines can be stressful, but they aren’t the end of the world. Keep these things in mind and you’ll meet your deadlines. Before you know it, you’ll have completed your book! What an accomplishment!

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

How to Stick to a Schedule When You Write From Home

When you tell someone you’re a writer who works from home, one of the first comments you might hear is, “Wow, so you can write whenever you want?” Well, yes and no. Despite your best intentions, you may find that it’s difficult to stay on track with your writing. If that’s the case, you may end up working seven days per week or pounding away on your laptop from morning to night, dreaming about the day when you can finally take it easy. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be like that. Here are four tips to try if you feel like you’re writing (or trying to write) 24/7 and getting nothing done.

Set Specific Working Hours

One of the perks of self-employment is that you can work whenever you want. That’s also one of the drawbacks. When you have the freedom to meet a deadline at your convenience, it’s easy to spend the entire day writing. Regain control of your work life by setting specific hours for yourself.

Be practical when you set your hours. If you’re a night owl, don’t schedule yourself a day shift. If you have small children at home, consider working late at night or before the sun rises. You may also find it easier to schedule a split shift, such as four hours for work, four hours for errands and a lunch break, and four more hours of writing. Do what works best for you and your lifestyle, because it will be easier to stick with a schedule that meets your needs.




Take Breaks

When you punch in a time clock outside of your home, you probably never miss a lunch break or 15-minute rest break. That’s not the case for many who write from home. It’s easy to skip breaks because you think you don’t need them or feel like you’re being lazy if you stop writing for a few minutes, but this can take a huge toll on you.

Failing to take a break can cause you to feel burned out. You may start to hate what you’re doing if you never take a moment to do something else. Set an alarm to remind yourself to take regular breaks, and make sure that you actually escape your home office for a bit. Walk around the block, drive down the street to grab a bite to eat, or meet up with friends. Your brain and body will thank you.

Eliminate Distractions

Distractions come in different forms from fun Facebook games to uninvited neighbors who never seem to go home. If the Internet is a major distraction for you, try an app like Focus Booster. You can use the app to block social networking sites, YouTube, or even your personal email account when you’re busy with a writing project.

It’s slightly harder to eliminate other distractions, such as chatty family members or neighbours; but it can be done. In fact, if you follow the two steps listed above this one, you may find that it’s easier to prevent these types of distractions. Uninvited guests may be less likely to stop by if they know you have set writing hours and regular break times, and people may stop asking you for rides to the post office or grocery store if they know you’re busy writing your next book.




Reward Productivity

No matter how much you love your career, there will be days when you just don’t feel like being productive. You’ve probably outgrown star stickers and pencil toppers, but you can improve motivation by rewarding yourself in other ways.

Start by setting small, easy-to-achieve goals, such as, “I will write for 30 minutes and then spend five minutes watching motivational YouTube videos.” (Or whatever works for you, of course!) As your focus increases, you can change your hourly goals to daily goals, like, “I can order pizza tonight if I finish writing these two pages by 4 PM.” You can even set weekly goals, like, “I will buy a new pair of jogging shoes if I meet all of my deadlines on time this week.”

Working from home can be rewarding for writers, but it can also be difficult. Eliminate distractions and stick to a regular schedule by trying the four tips above. Good luck with your book!

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

More Writing Hours Versus More Productivity

We all know those people who spend every waking moment at the office. We admire them and their efforts, and we imagine they must be getting so much more done than everyone else. Sure, sometimes this is true; but other times it’s just a matter of poor time management. More writing hours don’t necessarily equal more productivity or progress. Compact, focused work is just as (if not more) effective in the long run.

I try to get my writing done in small, but controlled bursts. Instead of spending my entire day sitting at a desk or sitting at a coffee shop, I schedule my work time and break time, then stick to it. I set and meet my own deadlines.




When I’m writing, I’m focused on writing. When I’m on a break, I don’t think about writing; I just relax and enjoy the break. Not only does this help me to get more done, but it helps prevent the feeling of overwhelm that comes from trying to do too much at once, and it also helps to prevent exhaustion.

Exhausting yourself can give you an immediate gain; but, over the long-term, it’s also bound to lead to unhealthy fatigue and resentment. That’s not what you want. What you’re after is an achievable routine that is customized to your life and your schedule so you can easily stick to it. Do this, and you’ll have that book written—and published!—before you know it!

More tips on how to stick to a schedule when you work from home and how to meet a writing deadline will follow this week. Stay tuned.

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

Seek Inspiration from Writers Who Have Succeeded Before You

Possibly one of the most inspirational author success stories of this century is that of JK Rowling. I write in a different genre than she does. I have a different audience altogether. But it is her human story that fascinates me most, so I go in search of great articles about her such as this one: JK Rowling gives advice to aspiring young writers in challenging situations. I seek her knowledge and advice from afar when I need it. (Thank God for the Internet! What did we ever do before we had this valuable tool at our disposal?)

This woman not only understands the unique challenges that writers everywhere face, but she has also experienced her share of adversity that most everyone can relate to on some level. Poverty. Divorce. Single parenting. The loss of a loved one. She found the way to continue writing through all of it.




That’s what I want you to take away from today’s email: she found the way to continue writing through all of it. And look at where she is now!

Nobody is saying it’s going to be easy all the time. There is work to be done if you want to finish writing your book and see it published at long last.

But I’m telling you it’s possible. That’s all you need to know for now. The rest will follow. The answers—and the way—will fall into place if you really want this and are prepared to work for it through everything life throws at you during the process. Have faith.

Now get back to your writing! That’s an order! 😉

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

Unique Writing Advice from Margaret Atwood

I came across some writing tips by Margaret Atwood on BrainPickings.org the other day titled “Margaret Atwood’s 10 Rules of Writing.” Her advice for writing while on an airplane is quite interesting … and a sign of our times, I suppose. It made me laugh.

Presumably, most of us “write” with a keyboard now, not a pencil. But she makes a good point about backing up your work with a memory stick if you’re a digital writer. Great advice! There’s nothing worse than spending several hours writing anything only to lose the data because your computer crashes.

But listen. You should definitely read Margaret’s advice. The BrainPickings blog has included some great tips from her that we haven’t covered on this blog so far. This is one of the reasons why I recommend reading other people’s work, other people’s advice, et cetera. We can all learn from each other.




On that note, this content first appeared on BrainPickings.org and is being reshared here for your enjoyment:

Margaret Atwood’s 10 Rules of Writing

  1. Take a pencil to write with on aeroplanes. Pens leak. But if the pencil breaks, you can’t sharpen it on the plane, because you can’t take knives with you. Therefore: take two pencils.
  2. If both pencils break, you can do a rough sharpening job with a nail file of the metal or glass type.
  3. Take something to write on. Paper is good. In a pinch, pieces of wood or your arm will do.
  4. If you’re using a computer, always safeguard new text with a ­memory stick.
  5. Do back exercises. Pain is distracting.
  6. Hold the reader’s attention. (This is likely to work better if you can hold your own.) But you don’t know who the reader is, so it’s like shooting fish with a slingshot in the dark. What ­fascinates A will bore the pants off B.
  7. You most likely need a thesaurus, a rudimentary grammar book, and a grip on reality. This latter means: there’s no free lunch. Writing is work. It’s also gambling. You don’t get a pension plan. Other people can help you a bit, but ­essentially you’re on your own. ­Nobody is making you do this: you chose it, so don’t whine.
  8. You can never read your own book with the innocent anticipation that comes with that first delicious page of a new book, because you wrote the thing. You’ve been backstage. You’ve seen how the rabbits were smuggled into the hat. Therefore ask a reading friend or two to look at it before you give it to anyone in the publishing business. This friend should not be someone with whom you have a ­romantic relationship, unless you want to break up.
  9. Don’t sit down in the middle of the woods. If you’re lost in the plot or blocked, retrace your steps to where you went wrong. Then take the other road. And/or change the person. Change the tense. Change the opening page.
  10. Prayer might work. Or reading ­something else. Or a constant visual­ization of the holy grail that is the finished, published version of your resplendent book.

Where Do I Even Begin Writing My Book?

As you sit down to write your book, you may be thinking, “Where do I even begin?” Well, there’s no right or wrong way to begin. For me, every one of my books was a little bit different. They all came to me in their own unique ways.

Sometimes, I’ll receive just a simple concept in my mind. I write it down, set it aside, and then I wait until the next thought comes along to further strengthen that vision. As each new thought arrives, I do the same until there’s enough substance to begin piecing together the first concrete outline of the whole book into point form. Basically, when this is the way a book comes to me, I know I must be patient with it. Let it grow at its own rate. It will come together eventually. It always does.

Other times, I’ll receive the end of a book first. The final chapter will already be a crystal-clear vision in and of itself, so then all I have to do is go back to the beginning and write to that end. Fill in the blanks.

My first fictional novel, A Letter to My Son, took me around ten years to complete. In hindsight, the majority of that time was spent procrastinating rather than writing due to fear of the unknown. I didn’t see that clear path ahead of me. I didn’t know how to get published and wasn’t all that sure it would ever happen, so I felt no strong sense of urgency to finish the book. Then, one year, I experienced a life-changing event that had me questioning myself and my life purpose. It was the catalyst that motivated me to finish my book once and for all—to find a way to publish it—to keep that promise to myself. Once I found that resolve, all the information and resources I needed to publish the book found me. And I did it! (Smiling.) What a proud moment!




Each book that followed came a little easier simply because I knew the process ahead of me. Isn’t that the way life is? The first time you try anything is always the hardest. But, if you push through that initial fear and prove to yourself that it’s possible, it does get easier. Needless to say, my second book, A Letter to My Daughter, took me only two months to write. My third book, 11:11, took me around six months. I’ve also since released three more non-fiction guides to help writers and authors navigate the business aspects of book publishing, sales, and marketing. I’ve produced an ebook series to help online marketers earn passive income from ebooks: Book Publishing Shortcuts for Online Marketers. And I’ve produce another ebook series titled T-Shaped Marketing for Authors that teaches all kinds of online marketing techniques authors can use to boost their ranking on eCommerce sites like Amazon and Kobo.

When I was younger, writing was more a pastime than a career aspiration, so I only wrote when the mood hit me. After my first book was published, and I became a little more serious about things, I found a structure that seems to work very well for me to this day. Lately, with the help of this structure, I’ve been publishing a new book once every four to six weeks. It’s possible!

I hope learning this little bit of information about my personal journey as a writer will inspire you to finish writing (and eventually publish!) your own book. You can also find many more sources of inspiration and education on this blog to help you achieve your goals, whatever they may be. Good luck!

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

Introduction to Writing

Alberta Sequeira

Welcome to your world of writing. It all begins with a thought for a great story. The next step is to start writing your first sentence.  You don’t need to spend every spare moment at the computer. A half hour a day will bring your story together. Pushing aside your desire to write will never fill your dream of having that special book published.

Publishing your work can happen if you persevere and keep your confidence. Famous writers had to start where you are now. In the beginning, don’t worry about making every sentence flow together or panic because they make no sense. There will be numerous times going back to recheck your grammar, punctuation, and spelling. You may find it necessary to reword sentences. Those corrections should be in the last stages.

A computer is a gift and a best friend to a writer. Its function keys allow you to cut, paste, copy, delete or add a page from the internet to your manuscript. Remember, most mistakes can be fixed.




One important fact that I suggest is to SAVE your material with each paragraph or page that you finish. If you take a break, if there’s a storm, SAVE your work on a CD before shutting everything down. You’d be surprised how many hours of work can be lost. If it’s gone, you will learn what frustration is all about when you try to remember what you finished writing; you know, those perfect thoughts! 

When done for the day, SAVE your work on a CD. Make it a habit that you write your fresh, new, daily entries at the start of each day in your manuscript in the computer and SAVE the day’s work on the CD. It is easy to get mixed up if you start one day writing on the CD and saving the work the computer and then the next day starting on the computer and saving on the CD because you will over-riding pages of entries with your finished work. I made this horrible mistake with my first book for months forgetting which location I started my writing last, where it was saved, and I had deleted important information. Remember, work on the computer, Save on the CD at the end of the dayMake this a routine practice. 

Keep a pencil and a pad of paper in the living room, kitchen, and bedroom. Some of the best material seems to come during the wee hours of the night or morning. Have one special location to store your notes. Type them daily into your document. It saves paperwork from piling up or your notes getting lost. 

© Alberta Sequeira

www.albertasequeira.org

Email: alberta.sequeira@gmail.com

Bio:

Alberta Sequeira is from North Dartmouth, Massachusetts and is a four-time award winning Author, speaker, and an Awareness Coach on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.

Her memoirs are:  A Spiritual Renewal: A Journey to Medugorje, Someone Stop This Merry-Go-RoundAn Alcoholic Family in Crisis, and its sequel Please, God, Not Two; This Killer Called Alcoholism, and her Narrative Non-Fiction book What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholics and Addicts; In Their Own.

Ms. Sequeira is an educational instructor for three workshops: Bring Your Manuscript to PublicationHow to Self-Publish Your Own Book with Create Space and Writing Memoirs.  All three classes were made into handbooks.  

She is a co-founder to Authors Without Borders (www.awb6.com) and a director, producer and co-host to the NBTV-95 Cable Show out of New Bedford, MA.  

She is in the process of working on her first fictional story, The Rusty Years.

STORY: How to Weave the Thread of Theme Into Your Writing

Mel Menzies

Story has existed since the beginning of time.  It is endemic to human nature, and is evident in cave-art (yes, it may be painting or carving but it’s there to tell a story), legend, folklore and mythology, the Bible, fairy tales and biography, drama, newspaper reports and novels.  But I wonder whether those of us who seek to write either fiction or memoir, truly understand the importance of its effect on human behaviour?  Let me explain.

THE EFFECT OF STORY ON READERS

Shortly before starting my Evie Adams’ series of mystery novels, I woke one morning with the following statement ringing in my head: Entertain your readers so that they will absorb truths they might otherwise resist.

Think about it.  Morality and duty to society are stated as key themes of Jane Austen’s novels.  True to the era in which she lived, she could have written on these subjects in a didactic, non-fictional manner, with the aim of teaching her readers how they might better behave.   Had she done so, however, I somewhat doubt that her books would have survived the twentieth century, let alone the twenty-first.  Yet survive – no, thrive – they do.  Precisely because she chose to convey these themes through the actions, dialogue and inner stream of consciousness of her characters, in response to the circumstances they encountered.




THE NATURE OF THEME

So what, exactly, is theme?  And how do we go about choosing it?

  1. Theme is the one word, or sentence, which characterises the reason for the book having been written, and its narrative.
  2. Theme might thus be described as the motive for your book; the message you wish to convey to your readers.
  3. Theme, for example, may be expressed as: forgiveness; destruction wrought by ambition; unrequited love; repentance; turning a self-centred life into a life which serves others, and so on.

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Thus, the story of a marital breakdown might focus on forgiveness as its theme.  Husband shoves wife aside and marches from room.  She falls and is injured.  The physical and mental trauma she experiences in hospital would be portrayed as a battle of will and emotion, in which pain, bitterness and anger would, naturally, rise to the surface.  Compassion, understanding, and empathy for the protagonist would be the obvious response in readers, whether or not they have shared similar life events themselves.

Adding to the conflict of the events the victim has experienced, and the feelings they’ve aroused, her sister is insisting that she takes legal action against her husband.   But what if the wife then searches her inner self and realises that she had some part in provoking the argument?  What if she catches herself out by recalling a similar event in her childhood, when she was, in fact, the perpetrator?  How, she asks, can she live with herself, harbouring bitterness and hatred, when she knows herself to be fallible?

As she goes through the inner arguments, and conveys them to her sister through dialogue, so, too, does the reader.  The story and theme play out in his or her imagination.  Until a decision is reached.  The denouement – the wife’s forgiveness of her husband, plus his remorse – leads to reconciliation.  To mutual happiness.  And to hope for a better future.

STORIES THAT DO MORE THAN ENTERTAIN

Your reader finishes the book feeling more than entertained.  His or her future attitude and actions have been influenced by osmosis.  You will have aroused questions in his or her mind; stirred up memories of relevant past events; perhaps, even, a determination to right a wrong.  They will have no need to be instructed in morality or clemency.  They’ve seen it for themselves.  And hopefully, they will have taken it on board.

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The story you have written, whether biographical or fiction, will have left your readers with a lasting impact.  Lives, behaviour and attitudes will have been changed.  Just think!  You’ll be more than simply a writer or an author.  As a lady who read my novel, Time to Shine, said to me: ‘That was a life-changer.’

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Twice a wife, three times a mum, and seven times a grandma, I’ve been a multi-published author (under several nom de plume) since the 1980’s, with a Sunday Times No 4 Bestseller published by Hodder & Stoughton.  I’ve been a keynote speaker at conferences, led workshops, and taken part in radio and TV debates, panels and phone-ins.

My latest series of novels – family dramas with a page-turning mystery solved, not by a detective but by a counsellor – are set in Exeter and Dartmouth, and are available from Waterstones or any good bookshop, Amazon,  or at discount via PayPal, from my book page www.melmenzies.co.uk/books.  All proceeds are for charity.

‘This novel not only entertains, it inspires,’ says author, Pam Rhodes.

What I like about Mel’s writing,’ says Devon Life reviewer, Annette Shaw, ‘is that she explores issues and problems we all face.’


© Mel Menzies 2017

NEXT TIME: Story: Planning Your Plot