The First 4 Steps Every Writer Needs To Take To Start Building Their Fanbase

The First 4 Steps Every Writer Needs To Take To Start Building Their Fanbase

Some writers think that eloquent words, unique characters, and wild worlds are enough to reel in the readers and have people bowing at your feet. But sorry, Jack. That isn’t enough. So what 4 solid steps can you take right now to start building your fanbase one screaming fangirl at a time?   1. Discover your Audience Reaching out to your audience begins with understanding who your audience is. And understanding who your audience is begins with understanding your novel.   Answer these questions: What is your book’s genre? How old are the main characters? What is the protagonist’s age and gender? Who’s POV do we follow? What is the message of the story? What does the voice of your novel sound like?- Youthful? Aged and wise? What other factors inspired your novel and influence your writing?- A song? Video games? History? A television series?   Once you have these answers you discover who your target audience is. If you’ve discovered that your book is for a young adult audience (like my books  are) then consider what books the kids are already into. If you’re writing a fantasy or science fiction novel, young readers will probably already be reading books like these:   Or if you’re writing contemporary romance, young adult readers will probably already be reading books like these: What popular books in your select genre have you read? Join groups celebrating these books. Why? Because in order to build a loyal fanbase, you must create genuine connections with freak fans who like stories similar to your own.   2. Reach out and Connect with your Audience Genuine connection...
3 Tips to Help you Slam Dunk NaNoWriMo 2017

3 Tips to Help you Slam Dunk NaNoWriMo 2017

  Are you one of the crazies who decided to write a 50,000-word novel in just 30 days? Well good on you, crazy, because you’re doing an amazing thing that is sure to 1 UP your writing skill. See, the awesome thing about NaNoWriMo is that you make a pinky promise to yourself and your work. You promise that you’ll focus on writing every day. Every. Day.   And, in devoting yourself to a daily word count, you do three things for your writing: You hone a stronger voice   You maintain a mental and emotional connection to your story and characters   You become finely tuned to inconsistencies or plot holes in your writing   And honestly you do just so much more but aye there isn’t time to keep listing, you know what I mean? So, being at nearly the halfway mark, how do you maintain that umph, that zeal for writing? How do you keep that pinky promise to yourself and your work? (after all, you did cross your heart and hope to die, so there’s a lot at stake here) You take these three tips with you because it’s dangerous to go this NaNoWriMo thing alone:   1. Write at the Same Time Every Day But Rae you and I both know that Tuesday I can write at 3:00 pm but on Wednesday I have soccer practice at 3:00 so, yeah, that’s not gunna work for me. That’s ok, but take a deep breath and consider this my precious Beckham: The point of writing at the same time every day is that you are training...
Choosing the Right Narrative Voice for your Novel: How POV and your Story’s Message Weigh In

Choosing the Right Narrative Voice for your Novel: How POV and your Story’s Message Weigh In

To totally steal from last week’s intro article to this topic:   “The narrator’s voice is your greatest asset– and your greatest drawback.” – Orson Scott Card   Choosing the right narrative voice for your novel really comes down to the message you want to send to your reader. And the message will depend greatly on the POV you choose. Why? Because the character(s) you choose to tell the story are the characters your reader will sympathize with. Where Do I Begin? First off, weigh your POV options while you outline your story, not while you write it. It helps if you write down the names of characters you feel would be fab candidates for your story’s POV, plus why they would frame your story’s narrative sensationally. In fact, why not try that right now?   Got that handy lil list o’ pretty possibilities all set? Awesome. Now, keep that list beside you while we dissect a simple story idea and see how selecting a POV and a narrative voice drastically changes the story’s message:   Danny Harrison’s twin brother Pete was shot to death by Benny Feng, notorious leader of the Black Tiger Gang. Danny’s dying father, John, looks to Danny to right the wrongs committed against their family.     POV Options: We have three strong candidates here for POV options (even four candidates, if we want the option of a somber aftermath retelling from Pete’s past tense POV.)   POV #1: Last heir to the “throne” Danny Harrison is at a crossroads: fulfill family obligation? Or pursue personal ambitions?   POV #2: Gang leader Benny Feng...
The 3 Narrative Voices: What are they? How do you tell them apart?

The 3 Narrative Voices: What are they? How do you tell them apart?

“The narrator’s voice is your greatest asset– and your greatest drawback.” – Orson Scott Card   Choosing the narrative voice for your novel determines who the reader will sympathize with. That means the entire story hangs on the choice of your narrative voice. It can be very difficult to choose the right narrator for your book especially if you aren’t sure what each voice truly does. I don’t know about you, but trying to figure out the difference between the narrative options gave me a headache for years. But after intense reading and research, I discovered the gold points every author should know and needs to know to properly identify the narrative voice. If you’re reading this now, it’s because you want to figure out what those narrative voice options are and which you should choose for your story. So, let’s break down what your three options as a fiction writer are and how these voices work:   1. Omniscient Third Person Narrator The omniscient third-person narrator flits like an invisible bird from place to place, sharing a distant, unemotional perspective of each character’s POV. Orson Scott Card put it best when he said, “The O.T.P narrator sees the world through the wrong end of the binoculars– readers can see everything but it all looks very small and far away.” We sit back and watch the lives play out from a distance as if we are a “god” looking down on the lives of mortals. There’s no emotional attachment, simply straightforward presentation of the facts. We watch what the characters do, we don’t experience it. Easiest way to identify...
Discover Yourself Through Writing

Discover Yourself Through Writing

Yesterday, I took a walk through my favorite park- the park my parents have taken me to since I was a small child. I’ve walked through this gorgeous tree-peppered park about a thousand times. Every river, rock-laden path, golden field, tree tattooed with random initials I thought I knew like the back of my hand. After all, twenty-seven years should grant a girl the confidence of being an expert on her childhood park. But yesterday, everything changed. I discovered something brand new, and it blew me away. What did I discover? And why did I discover it just now? Why didn’t I discover it, say, fifteen years ago? Well, stay tuned for the answers, friend. For now, I want you to think about your life in a similar light. You’ve walked the same paths a thousand times over. Your daily routine, your schedule- it’s all been one reliable beat- no surprises (or at least, you hope for none). So why are you here, reading this post right now? Something drew you to this page. Something inside you is yearning for a change in the status quo, some little voice inside is crying out. So what is it crying out for? Discovery. Humans are in a constant state of change no matter how much we ignore it or don’t see it. It’s only when that little voice inside becomes so overwhelmingly loud that you finally realize you need a change- a revolution within. You wish to branch out into uncharted territory and discover a new aspect of yourself. Can I be a writer? How do I even begin this journey? I don’t know how to...
Finding the Strength to Write When You’re Coping With Illness

Finding the Strength to Write When You’re Coping With Illness

So, I have to let you in on a little secret: I’ve been battling a regularly occurring illness for some time now, and it totally sucks. There are some days that my body is in so much pain, I can hardly move from my bed at all. Then, there are days when I am working full speed and winning at life like a champ. What I’ve discovered is this: modesty and a little routine called “counting my strengths” keeps me motivated to write and just be a human on my toughest days.   Are you coping with a serious illness too? Are you undergoing regularly occurring health problems that throw your life-train off the tracks too? Just know that you’re not alone. Know that your struggle is not in vain. Also, know that you’re courageous as heck and you’re capable of, not just coping with your illness, but living your life despite the pain. For those of you who may not suffer illness, I’ll tell you honestly that it feels like the heaviest ball and chain, or the most frustrating prison in the world. You feel like you have no control and that’s the hardest part of all. These simple things that we all take for granted are taken away from you:   Freedom Independence Energy Strength Social life Productivity Focus And sometimes, even more than that. For me, it has even greatly affected my workflow and my time spent writing. See, when you’re suffering illness, you don’t want to acknowledge that you’re not quite the same person any longer. Anything that acknowledges your weakened state may trigger all sorts of fears. At least, it did for me. First, I became forced to accept my limitations....
4 Ways To Revolutionize Female Villains

4 Ways To Revolutionize Female Villains

Why do female villains tend to act and look the same? Why don’t we take female villains seriously? Why do so few female villains actually terrify us? Male villains have made a 180 degree turn over the last few years. That guy with the curly mustache who ties the damsel to the train tracks simply doesn’t cut it anymore. Villains like Heath Ledger’s Joker, James Moriarty, and others have revolutionized evil. On the other hand, female villains haven’t evolved equally. If we think about the classic line-up of female villains, they share about 3 similarities: They wear the same ridiculous, theatrical or super sexy get-up meant to focus all attention on their hot bod instead of their personal goal. They have the same “I’M PURE EVIL!” laughter. They use overtly sexualized “tricks up their sleeves” to get the job done. But worst of all, villainesses tend to lack a profound motive which makes their personal conflict seem more like a hissy fit instead of a threat to be taken seriously. In fact, villainesses tend to be given the same three motives for their actions: Petty revenge Spurned or unrequited love Jealousy But what’s so wrong about these motives anyway? In it of itself, those motives aren’t completely heinous but when villainesses are consistently put into these three categories and not much else, then we have a problem. How? Because these motives narrow her potential, trivialize her goals, and worst of all, they create a caricature of evil.  Now granted, there are a few exceptions that we could stand to learn from. First, there’s Stephen King’s crazed super-fan, Annie Wilkes, played by the master, Kathy Bates. Then there’s the bloodthirsty...
My Top Ten Villains of All Time: Part 3 (#4-#1)

My Top Ten Villains of All Time: Part 3 (#4-#1)

If you missed the start of this countdown, then I highly suggest you first read the first and second post right here: Why are the last posts so valuable to you today? In the first post, we learned the 5 types of villains most commonly found in fiction In the previous post, we learned the 4 four most powerful weapons all great villains use And finally, we learned numbers 10 through 5 on my ultimate naughty list You’ll be shocked who ranks in! So please, have a read at my previous post before we learn the do’s and don’ts for a villain’s origin story, and find out numbers 4-1 on my top villains of all time list.    But hey- if you’re ahead of the game and have last week’s post already under your belt, then congrats! You get to move on to the final round. The best way to encourage readers to invest in your villain is by revealing the villain’s origin story. However, introducing it the wrong way can create a massive wall between your readers and your story. Or worse yet, your villain’s origin story could be so over-the-top or unrealistic that it gags the reader.  So, how do you craft an origin story that doesn’t induce an eye-roll from your readers so intense they can see their brain stem? There are some common mistakes authors fall victim to when revealing their villain’s origin story. So we will discuss a few don’ts to avoid and a few do’s to adhere to. These key tips will ask readers to invest in your villain and care about (or at least pay attention to) his journey. And most importantly, they will keep...
My Top 10 Villains of All Time: Part 2 (#7-#5)

My Top 10 Villains of All Time: Part 2 (#7-#5)

If you missed the start of this countdown, then I highly suggest you first read the previous post right here: Why is last week’s post so valuable to you today? We learned the 4 fundamental characteristics of all great villains We learned the 5 villain types most commonly found in fiction And finally, we learned numbers 10 through 8 on my ultimate naughty list You’ll be shocked who ranks in, and, more importantly, you’ll learn what characteristics all writers need to include in their own villains. So please, have a read at my previous post before we learn the 5 deadliest weapons ever used by a villain, and find out numbers 7-5 on my top villains of all time list.    But hey- if you’re ahead of the game and have last week’s post already under your belt, then congrats! You get to move on to the next round.   Villains hardly ever leave home without an arsenal of weaponry cocked and loaded for their cause. Some weapons are so deadly, so catastrophic, we fear that the world of mankind may never see the light of day again. Some villains are born with their weapon, abusing their superpowers and leveling humankind with a simple flick of their wrist. And worst of all, some weapons are in the mind of the villain, causing fear and paranoia leading to submission in their prey. So which types of weaponry leave readers trembling in their boots the most? And, which type should your villain use? Weapons of Mass Destruction What’s worse? All residents of say, New York City, London, or Sydney Australia, under threat?...
My Top 10 Villains of All Time: Part 1 (#10-#8)

My Top 10 Villains of All Time: Part 1 (#10-#8)

Listen to this post on my Podcast!   The most commonly asked question I receive nowadays is, “Hey Rae, what do you think makes for a great villain?” The thing is, this question can’t be answered simply. There are a series of fundamentals that every villain needs, yes. But likewise, there are villain types that every villain is categorized under. If you plan on creating a villain, or antagonist, for your story then you have to first gather the fundamentals, and then you have to understand the category your villain will fall under. Finally, you set him loose! So this month I’ve decided to break down my top ten villains of all time. Most of these villains come from nostalgia, others from sheer awe and respect as a writer. Still, others, simply because they are unabashedly bad to the bone! All will be carefully dissected so that we as writers can appreciate why these villains shake us and how we can create villains just as intriguing in our own stories. So, today I’m revealing #10- #8, and I’ll be breaking down what category each villain falls under, and what makes these villains so memorable, so spine-tinglingly scary, and so unique! First, let’s discuss what every villain needs to have- the four fundamental characteristics of all great villains: Delusions of Grandeur  Yes, every single villain out there suffers from a terrible, incurable case of this nasty characteristic. This quality is what blinds the villain to their undying belief in their ideals and inexcusable actions. This quality leaves all villains believing they are above the common person by either being smarter, faster, stronger, slicker, or more...

Pin It on Pinterest