I’m taking the week off to celebrate Christmas, but I’ll be back next week to talk about my goals, your goals, and 2019! Have a blessed and wonderful Christmas!
“There is no single component of the writing craft as vital to good fiction, and to developing an artistic voice, as point of view. The term covers a great deal of ground, but basically boils down to sharing the world of your characters, starting from within. Writing Deep Viewpoint helps establish a foundation from which a novelist can spread artistic wings and fly. Highly recommended.” Davis Bunn, NYT bestselling author.
The Key to Great Fiction:
Why is deep viewpoint vital for hooking and holding your readers?
Who is narrating each scene of your story?
What are readers really looking for when they pick up a novel?
Where does the real action of a written story take place?
What are the two most important rules of storytelling?
When should viewpoint be established?
Deep viewpoint can convince your readers that they have become your characters. This powerful writing-craft skill set includes showing instead of telling, maintaining story flow, attributing dialogue effectively, and showing characters interact with convincing antagonists and believable settings.
It’s as if Kathy Tyers climbed into my computer and grabbed the notes from my clients’ manuscripts, then put them into a book. I couldn’t believe how many times I said, “I tell writers that all the time!” while I read this book.
Tyers is spot-on with her observations about fiction writing today, as well as the issues that pop up most frequently in novels (even the edited ones). It’s not just that she can identify the issues, though; she’s able to explain why they don’t work, then she gives examples of how to make the writing better.
To clarify: many of the “bad” examples that she uses aren’t necessarily bad (and you’ll even see them in published books). It’s that the examples can be strengthened. As I tell my editing clients, these are the writing tips that will turn your good manuscript into a great novel that people can’t wait to pass on and read again.
I absolutely recommend this book. These are the types of practical tips that will help your writing grab the readers’ attention and pull them into the story.
What’s a critique? It’s a review of your manuscript without the line-by-line comments and edits. It includes:
- Overall assessment of the story and writing strengths and weaknesses
- Comments and suggestions at the end of each chapter
- Fiction Fliers to explain various fiction-writing techniques (as needed)
- Recommendations for the next step
When and why should you consider a critique?
- When you’re in a hurry. Substantive edits can take 4-6 weeks to complete depending on how much work the manuscript needs and how detailed of an edit you’ve requested. Sometimes, however, you need (or want!) input faster than that. Because a critique is an assessment (not an edit), it usually only takes 1-2 weeks. Perfect for the person who’s looking for tips NOW!
- When finances are tight. In an ideal world, every new author would hire a substantive editor before submitting their first manuscript to an agent or publisher. Realistically, however, that edit can cost upwards of $4,000. Not everyone can afford that. That’s where critiques can help — get a professional review, suggestions, tips, and recommendations at a fraction of the cost of a substantive edit!
- When you don’t know what you need. Not sure whether or not your book is ready for an edit? Are you wondering if your story is even worth pursuing? Then consider a critique. Not only will you receive comments and suggestions from an industry professional, but you can apply the cost of your critique toward a substantive, developmental, or line edit, when you’re ready.*
From now until the end of the month, anyone who schedules a novel critique for 2019 will receive 25% off the full critique — that’s just $1.50 per page! But don’t wait until that manuscript is done to contact me! Editors’ schedules fill up quickly, including mine. Reserve your spot today to make sure you get on the schedule for your novel critique.
Questions? Don’t hesitate to ask, and have a very merry Christmas!
Owner of Write Now Editing, Karin Beery’s passion is fiction. As Managing Editor for Guiding Light Women’s Fiction (an imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas) and an instructor for the PEN Institute, her goal is the same: to help authors create engaging novels that captivate their audiences. She specializes in substantive fiction edits, helping authors with big-picture issues like characterization, plot holes, and authenticity while also honing fiction-writing techniques, such as showing, point of view, dialogue, and more.
Karin is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of American, and Christian Proofreaders and Editors Network. She is represented by literary agent Steve Hutson at WordWise Media. You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
*Manuscripts in which characters, setting, or plot elements are changed will not be eligible to have critique costs applied to edits.
Just because you’ve decided to design your visual brand yourself, doesn’t mean you need to start from scratch. There are plenty of free or cheap tools created by designers that can save you time and energy and help make your DIYed visual brand look professional.
Here are a few of my favorites.
Everyone has probably heard of Canva – right now it’s a fan favorite among DIYers. While it’s a good choice for those who want simple graphics and don’t want to spend much time learning new software, it is limited in its capabilities.
If you’re willing to put in some time learning some more robust software, I suggest looking at some of Adobe’s options. Adobe’s software is the industry standard in almost every digital visual media, which means tutorials and walkthroughs are available in any format you could want.
My top suggestions are:
Adobe Illustrator – good for creating logos, icons, and illustrations
Adobe Photoshop – a versatile tool that can handle pretty much any image format, but can’t create scalable vectors like Illustrator
If you do decide to continue using the programs after 7 days, you can get Photoshop for $10/mo through Adobe’s photography bundle, and/or get Adobe Illustrator for $20/mo.
I suggest using either of them over Canva because they handle outside resources like fonts, illustrations, and logos more easily.
Unless you have an eye for design, I don’t suggest designing your logo completely on your own. Instead, you can buy a template from Creative Market for under $30 and customize it to match your color palette and name. By working from a template, you ensure your logo looks professional without having to pay for custom design work.
(Also be sure to sign up to CreativeMarket’s mailing list to receive 6 free resources every Monday.)
FontSquirrel is the best font resource I’ve found in my 13+ years of designing. All of their cataloged fonts are free (with the occasional low-priced option), and specifically free for commercial use, so they can be legally used for your business.
FontSquirrel has plenty of options, but if you want a font that’s a little more unique for headers or a special graphic, CreativeMarket has some great reasonably priced options.
Thankfully you don’t have to pay to use certain colors, but if you need help coming up with a color palette that works together, check out ColourLovers. Users upload color palettes, complete with the hex code you can use in your website or design software, which makes it easy to browse palettes, find one you like, and implement it in your visual brand.
Finding commercially-free photos can be a challenge for business owners, but UnSplash and Pexels have libraries you can browse of photos submitted by photographers that can be used commercially for free. And if you need a photo of a specific object or scene, try looking on CreativeMarket before heading to the pricier stock photo websites.
Finding nice icons can really help bring your website or graphic together, which is why I love IconFinder. They have cheap and free options for icons of various topics. Just be sure to click “For Commercial Use” under the License Type filter.
That’s it! With just these few resources, you can design a professional visual brand without breaking the bank.
Sierra Kellermeyer who helps business owners who are tired of their marketing efforts pulling “okay” results. She helps them stand out online by designing a noteworthy visual brand that attracts their ideal clients effortlessly. She says, “My favorite part of brand design is the marriage of creativity and strategy. I’m not simply creating something beautiful, I’m creating something beautiful that works and has a purpose.”
There’s a lot of misconception about visual branding, with people thinking it’s just about looking good, but it’s more than that. “Your visual brand is a communication tool, and if you’re only trying to make something that looks nice, rather than telling your audience about your business, you’re missing out.”
Sierra will be sharing her visual branding tips in February, May, August, and November. In the meantime, you can find her online at:
In Your First 1000 Copies, seasoned book marketing expert Tim Grahl walks you through how successful authors are using the online marketing tools to build their platform, connect with readers and sell more books.
After I signed the publishing contract for my debut novel, I bought this book because I wanted to know how to sell it! I’d never heard of Tim Grahl, and I had no idea what to expect from his book, but it’s short and less than $10, so I figured I could risk it.
Grahl’s book reinforced a theory I’ve heard before but hadn’t completely accepted: newsletters trump social media.
That’s a tough one to believe when it seems as if everyone is on at least one social media platform, but no one walks around talking about the last newsletter they read. The statistics, however, are there, and Grahl take’s you through them to help you understand how your newsletter yields sales.
But this book is so much more than that! He also walks you through:
- Setting up your newsletter
- Promoting your newsletter
- Making your newsletter work for you
And if the book doesn’t include enough information for you, he provides links to more info throughout the book.
I will say that this book is geared toward non-fiction writers, but novelists will certainly be able to modify his advice to work for their books too. Overall, regardless of what you’re writing, I highly recommend this book as a quick, easy-to-read start to marketing (and selling!) your book.