Friday, July 25, 2014

A Great Deal

Usually I don't advertise on here unless it's a cover reveal or just published but I wanted to get the word out that you can order Fated in ebook format this weekend for 99 cents from Amazon.

We also just received a glowing review for Fated from Bittenbybooks that we are very excited about. They gave the book 5 stars and a wonderful article on it!

So follow this link: Fated so you can get to reading! If you get yourself a copy, make sure to let us know if you liked it! We would love to know! We appreciate your support for us and our books and hope that you enjoy our story about Stevie.

Thanks for all that you do!!

Love, Lisa

Friday, July 18, 2014

Watch Your Tone

Last Friday I talked about the author's voice and I had said I would post this week setting the tone of your novel.

There are several definitions of the tone in which you use in your book, but I will discuss setting your book up so that the reader knows what to look forward to. 

Have you ever started to read a book only to find out it's not what you expected? Maybe you thought it was a murder mystery, but instead it was someone who lost a loved one due to being murdered and how it effected them. Or maybe you thought it was a romance, and it ended up being a coming of age.

When you start your book you need to set the overall setting to what the reader can expect. You don't want to disappoint your readers. They won't read anything else of yours in the future. Tricking the reader is not recommended.

I know there have been books that you thought it would go a certain way and it turned out completely different. So when you begin your story, give them the taste of what's to come.

When we started Fable we had a prologue before the first chapter. It began in the past and in a different world. We were letting the reader know what they could look forward to, not just about a girl in Golden, like the first chapter. An action and adventure story filled with fantasy. 

There were certain people who said we should leave the prologue out but it gave the readers a taste of what was to come in the series. Plus, we thought it would be intriguing for the reader. What is really going on? They knew there was going to be another life, and another world. 

We mixed together two different fantasy genres, urban and epic, so I wanted the reader to know this.

I know a lot of times we story tellers want to captivate our audience, but not giving them what they expect will turn them away. 

When you start your novel let the reader know if it's suspense, or mystery, or romance. Let them know, up front, what is the basis of your story. Usually books begin this way, but I have seen some that were not as "telling" as they should be.

Don't worry, they will read if it's what the reader was looking for. There's no need to fool them. You will only push them away. A good example of a book that was not what the reader would think was the outcome is The Dome by Steven King. The only reason he probably didn't lose many readers though is because he is already famous.

We are all new writers and aren't famous yet so let the reader know what they can expect. Can you think of some books you've read that didn't turn out to be what you thought? How did it leave you feeling?

Until next Friday, I hope all of you have a great weekend! 

Love, Lisa

Friday, July 11, 2014

What is The Writer's Voice?

In our last writing class Janet discussed our tone and voice as writers and I found what she said very interesting. I looked up the voice of a writer on Google and checked out some not only descriptions but also ways to finding your unique voice. 

First I should put down the actual definition of the writers voice and then I will talk about ways to find your own.  

According to Wikipedia: 
  1. The writer's voice is the individual writing style of an author, a combination of idiotypical usage of syntax, diction, punctuation, character development, dialogue, etc., within a given body of text (or across several works). Voice can be thought of in terms of the uniqueness of a vocal voice machine.            

    Now, what does all this mean when it comes to finding your voice? Well, the answer is it's the style on which you write.

    Maybe your style is a lot of detail and description, or maybe you like your dialog to be very realistic. Maybe you like to skip a lot of words and have sentences that are not complete but get to the point.

    Usually it stems from what you like to read and how you read too. It will have other components that will drive it, such as genre, but whatever it is your voice is unique to only you.

For example, I like stories that don't give away everything in the first chapter so when I wrote Fable I wanted the reader to wonder what was going to happen next to Stevie. I wanted them to go through it with her. Now some consider that slow, but I like a build up and that's how I write. I am driven by suspense and patience.

I also like details of my characters so I will see through their eyes, so I wrote more detail about them. But every writer is different, mainly because everyone reads and enjoys stories differently.

I believe the way to find your voice is to ask yourself what you enjoy reading. What pulls you into a story and holds onto you? Do you like your stories to have action right off the bat? Or maybe you like working into the conflicts. 

Do you enjoy a lot of romance, or prefer very little? These are the questions you could ask yourself when you begin to tell your story, but make no mistake, you should set the tone of your book from the very beginning so as not to fool or confuse the reader.

We will get into tone on the next post, but for right now, look to yourself and who you are and what kinds of books stand out to you. There is where you will find your voice.

There is a blog post I will link on here for steps you can use to finding your writing voice. 10 steps to finding your voice

But in the mean time, realize your voice is your own unique way of putting words to paper. One more thing though, make sure you revise and use your creative writing skills and a professional editor. If you plan to publish your book then you should do this for your readers. 

If you have any questions or want to add how you found your voice in writing please leave me a comment. I love hearing from you!
Until next Friday, I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! 

Love, Lisa

Friday, July 4, 2014

How Long is Too Long

A topic that has come to the forefront lately, first in a LinkedIn post and then last night with my critique partners, is how long should your book be. There is a different answer per genre, since each has different types of readers.

When writing your rough draft it should be as long as it should be...if that makes any sense. Basically, your story will be as long as it's supposed to be. Once you have finished your first draft, then you can go back in and cut anything that is not necessary to moving the story along. 

When I read the LinkedIn post from a writer working on her novel, and concerned with the size of her book, (a fantasy fiction by the way) I was surprised by the answers the other writers gave her. Some said they won't read a book longer than 300 pages, they didn't have time, or other's said they preferred short stories to long books. And still some said, have you ever seen the size of the Game of Thrones books? I knew this was a topic I could relate to.

Most fantasy fiction readers like really long books, in fact they like series' of really long books. The difference between writing with a romance niche and a fantasy one is "World Building".

I remember the last writing conference I went to, the speaker was from Random House. The conference was geared toward romance writers and she was looking for books with 70,000 or less words. She sat next to me during the breaks and she and I got to talking. I told her I write fantasy and my first book, Fable, was 120,000 words. She said that was normal. (Which I knew that already) 

I researched what the size of your book should be and in my genre there is no boundary, but that doesn't mean you should leave in a bunch of info dump that's not moving the story along. Actually the average is about 120,000 words, so I was pretty much on track. 

Usually when writing any type of world building, such as fantasy, and sci-fi, you need the extra to bring the reader into the new world. So basically if your world is not in "this one" then you can make the book longer. 

If you are planning to traditionally publish that can also determine how long your book should be. A lot of times they will be looking for a certain sized book for their readers, like the woman from Random House. You can research the type of genre you write in and see what is the most accepted length.

This is nothing to stress about. First write your rough draft. Get the story out on paper, and then concern yourself with the word count. Sometimes you can split the book in two and create a trilogy or series. There are ways around it.

If there are writers on here who have questions about the subject, feel free to leave me a comment. We can always look up the correct answers together. But if you are like me and write fantasy, don't worry, you're probably giving the reader exactly what they want, a new world to explore.

Until next week, I hope everyone has a wonderful 4th celebration!

Love, Lisa