A fiction writer is never entirely alone. Her characters are constantly whispering in her ear. Writing is not a social endeavor. It requires solitude - a meeting between you and your characters on their turf. Some of us can find solitude in a crowded café or the local mall. And none at home. — Cinda Williams Chima
Careers for Your Characters: A Writer's Guide to 101 Professions from Architect to Zookeeper -
To create realistic, well-developed characters, you have to write with authority. Careers for Your Characters enables you to describe their professional lives with the accuracy and detail of an insider. Raymond Obstfeld and Franz Neumann share the hard-to-find specifics for 101 intriguing occupations. You’ll learn: Professional jargon and buzz words. Education requirements. Salaries, benefits, perks, and expenses. Each profession’s average daily schedule. How the reality of a particular job differs from public perception. Publications and Web sites to aid in further research. You’ll save research time and write with confidence while maximizing the depth and authenticity of every character you create.
Don’t compare yourself to others. There will always be someone who writes faster, or slower, or gets a bigger advance, or better advertising. Everyone’s career and writing process is a little different. Follow your own path. — Carrie Vaughn
Successful novelists are not born. They do not have a sixth sense, an extra set of hands, or a third eye. They are dedicated writers - workers, really - who start books and don’t quit until they are finished, revised, rewritten, and revised some more, again and again and again until their manuscripts are marketable. — Andrew McAleer, The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists
Everything nourishes what is strong already — Jane Austen
for-the-love-of-the-words asked: Hey, there. 1) Thank you for following me. 2) THANK YOU EVEN MORE FOR FOLLOWING ME BECAUSE IT TURNED ME ON TO YOUR LOVELY BLOG! Good luck, darling <3 -MS
Hey, no problem! And thank you. Good luck to you as well. <3
Titles are important, sure. They’re the first thing potential readers are going to see when browsing in the local bookstore, or on the Amazon Kindle store, along with the cover art, reviewer quotes, and - in some cases - a short tagline. They’re what makes people decide to pick up the book and check out the blurb on the back, and then the blurb is what probably sells it in the end. But to get them looking at the back cover, you need a good title.
That said though, this isn’t something you should stress over too much until you’ve either finished the novel, or you’re a good bit of the way done writing it. Assign it a working title, by all means, but don’t settle on a final title until later.
When you’re just getting started, perhaps name your novel after your protagonist, lets call him Hiro Protagonist. Or name it after some significant event in your planned story. Or name it after the setting in which it is based. If it’s a sequel, name it Hiro Protagonist/Event/Setting 2. I’m not saying that if you have an awesome title idea right off the bat, you shouldn’t use it. Or you might even form an idea for a story based on a title, maybe a phrase you heard, or the name of a song or something. If either one of these is the case, then go right ahead and use that title as a working title. But don’t get too attached, especially if you derived your idea from the title to a song or something. And don’t spend hours agonising over giving your story a title before you’ve even started.
Once you’ve got your story written, you’ll probably want to do an edit. At this stage, while you’re reading through what you’ve written, you should keep an eye out for possible title ideas to replace the one you’ve been using while you’ve been working on it. Maybe a particularly meaningful line of dialogue, or an object or place of importance that has become central to your story, maybe there’s a motif that’s come up in the story as you’ve written it and it seems like it would be a cool idea to use a play on words that matches that motif. Some examples:
Dialogue: ‘Game of Thrones’
Object or Place of Importance: ‘The Eye of the World’
Motif: The Belgariad by David Eddings features a chess motif - ‘Pawn of Prophecy’, ‘Queen of Sorcery’, etc.
My main point is, the title is supposed to be able to represent your story in shorthand somehow. So you’re better off waiting until you’ve actually written that story, or a good portion of it, before settling on the title. That way, you’ll be better equipped to decide on the best possible name for your story. It might be that the one you start with is fine, or you might find a better one as you write. Just don’t set your mind on one title from the get-go.
I don’t have much else to say on the subject that hasn’t been said, so I’ll bid you good day until next week. See ya.
Ten Things I Wish I Had Done Differently (An author's list) -
Insightful article from a published author as she looks back over her last 8 books.
To Plot or Pants? -
As it happens (and as is the case with most writing things), there isn’t one set way to plot that is better than the others— nor do I believe there is a “right” answer as to whether it’s better to plot a novel or just go with the flow and pants the entire thing.There are, however, pros and cons to both pantsing and plotting up for discussion right here.What type of writer are you? Do you prefer pantsing, plotting or something in between? Why?