We’ve been discussing how to set up your novel, how to get things going within, and one of those things we’re focusing on is the outline and research being conducted. Whether you are outlining your novel or not, the important thing to remember is how you will be drawing out those chapters. In other words, you don’t want to have your reader knowing what is going to happen to your character before it’s written.
This is important. You want the reader’s attention and you’ll want to hold it, push them to turn the page, and not give everything at once. Draw the suspense out; keep them hanging on to your every word until the end. In order to achieve this, the planning your conduct for your novel must be structured before you begin. Some ways to do this are as follows:
The basic moral of this post is to make sure that you are not only relaying the true emotions of your characters, opening them up for your reader to understand – but also making the story something that will stick out to your reader for months, years, a lifetime to come.
Last week we talked about planning out that novel. The week prior we talked about the research. One would wonder when you would get started on ACTUAL writing huh? Well, have no fear, THIS would be the moment in which you’d begin.
Chapter one, page one, word one begins now. In your opening chapter, how you stage your novel begins here. It’s not just about the staging of the manuscript that you need to pay attention to here, but also that of gathering attention, introducing your characters, and starting your plot. Quite a bit huh? (nods) exactly. This chapter is exactly why many writers, publishers, editors, and agents focus so much on how a piece begins. You want to not only set the stage for your readers and characters, but also grab everyone’s attention and hold it (hopefully) throughout the piece.
So as you get ready to write the first chapter of your novel, the one you have been researching and planning for in the past few days or weeks, remember, keep the cliché out of this part (hell, out of the entire piece actually) and get ready to embark and create your own world. It’s what you make it, now get it done.
As you begin your piece, which part are you struggling with the most to get centered and explained?
So this post is hitting a little late, but fret not, (winks) I have such a surprise for you all!
I have been battling this head cold for the past week and it’s one that has about knocked me on my ass, so when I woke up this morning, the blog post completely slipped my cold-medicine-drugged mind. Leave it to a few of you not to let me forget altogether though! (laughs)
Last week we talked about research and the importance of making sure it’s completed for your novel. Research is a key part in the development of said piece and following behind that is your outline.
How do you go about planning your novel? Are you a “fly by the seat” type of writer? Do you like to plan each chapter out, list details that need to be included every step of the way? Or are you more of one that jots down a few things and takes it from there? You know, a mixture of both?
Different styles are used all the time and depending on the type of book you’re writing, the type of writer you are, and the time you have to dedicate to the manuscript, any of these styles will work.
Within my crime and paranormal series, I outline my pieces. I have to; there are just way too many details in order for me not to do it this way. I find that with an outline as well, I don’t run into hang ups on what scene needs to come next. It’s already there, listed out as a guide to draw me along.
Each writer will do things differently and it’s up to you, as the creator of your new world and characters, to find that balance for what you need and how you want to get it accomplished. There are no set rules for how a writer develops and puts their work together. Writers are considered artists, and within the art, or craft as some may call it, there is the need for creativity, originality, and most importantly…drive.
What’s the best way you get your novel ready?
For those of you who don’t follow me personally on Facebook, this week I started in on the second book in my new series called Empire Blue. Starting another book has brought up all the exciting prospects that come when an author plots out a new manuscript (MS). There really isn’t any author that can just jump right into writing a MS, but rather it takes time, patience, and a whole lot of research.
Rather than just tossing a bunch of pictures your way for this week’s Man Candy Monday – not that I think you all would mind that (winks) – I decided to walk through this process with you all for a few different reasons that I’ll list below.
I belong to a few different critique groups and every day I see new writers come aboard, each with the same wide-eyed trepidation that I remember all too well when I began this journey many years ago. Most are eager to learn, some may have a mindset that they don’t need to learn anymore (this frame will hurt a writer more than anything else), but most are terrified to put themselves out there. Unfortunately, on the last thing there, it is the one thing every writer MUST do if they ever want to succeed.
With a majority of these new members, I’ve been asked countless times how to go about getting your piece looked at, how I dealt with the initial shock of someone not liking my work (yes, it is hard to know that not everyone does, but that is a part of life), and how to make yourself better. The simple answer is, you just gotta rip off that band aid – literally – and get a second, third, fourth, etc, etc, person to look at it. The more, the better.
Why the reluctance, you ask, especially when authors eventually know that their pieces will be out for the world to see? Well, it’s because of a few reasons again. Authors critiquing other authors can be extremely harsh at times, sometimes more so than any editor or agent ever would be. Why? Well because we know the craft extremely well and are trying to not only draw the talent out of the other author, but also give them the “tough skin” that is needed in order to succeed in this industry. The other is because of the amount of time we go through in conducting research for the piece we want. Again, I stress that no author can just hop into a subject or idea and write out a novel – some sort, any kind of research needs to be conducted. And the first step – the idea – is only the beginning.
So while I introduce our newest Man Candy recipient, think on how you do your research or how you would – for those who are aspiring authors – and share some of your tips below.
So, for kicks, and also in preparation for my upcoming new release I came across a photo of someone who caught my eye. Well hell, they all catch my eye but this one did for another reason.
In Feral Craving, formally known as Coming Home, I introduce Tyler to the group. Tyler, from what many of you remember is pretty much sex on legs. His voice has the capability to stop anyone, man or woman (*hint, hint*) in their tracks and his eyes, depending on his mood, speak of things to come.
Tyler can see all, and when I say that, I mean Tyler knows not only what’s going on inside of a body but also the biggest wants for the soul.
Okay, in case many of you have missed it, Feral Craving involves a team of Special Forces who are actually a form of demon (good at that) known Justice Demons. In Feral Craving, we hear of Bari’s story and how he’s introduced to this new, dark world.
That being said, when I got to thinking about this week’s post, I knew the man I wanted to feature, but I also wanted to touch on a bit of what drove me to write his story.
I’ve had many people ask me what drives me to write, how I get my motivation. A little known fact behind the scenes is that all my writing is done while listening to music. Some get their drive from pictures, other from movies, and many others from utter silence. With me music drives the scene and depending on what I’m listening to will drive what the scene is about.
Bari’s book was written pretty much to songs by Kanye West. I’ve donned his theme song as Stronger by Mr. West and if you listen to the lyrics and read the book, then you’d understand completely why. Some other songs that drove me in this piece, and mind you it’s a very dark time for Bari, are Dark Fantasy, No Church in the Wild, Otis, Runaway, and most especially Made in America. In case you want some good pieces to listen to, I’ve created the basic list of which songs primarily drove me to finish this manuscript here.