“Would you stop being so stubborn?!”
I uttered these words under my breath during my last editing session. My heroine was being particularly stubborn to do what I wanted her to in the scene.
What? You didn’t know fictional characters have a mind of their own? It’s true! If you’re like me, characters take on the personality you give them in the beginning and, before you know it, can take steps in directions you never saw coming. Say things that surprise you. Lead the story down unexpected paths.
When I find myself in these situations, as a still-learning newbie author, I turn to the experts. Those who’ve been in the trenches and come out the other side wiser and willing to share their knowledge.
Over the years, I’ve collected hundreds of tips for authors on everything from…
- planning your next novel
- plot structure
- character development
- writing for your genre audience
- author platform building
- working with agents/publishers
- developing deep POV
- resources like stock photos (covers, promos, etc.)
- creating an author website
- author encouragement
- grammar and mechanics
- writing descriptions
- showing vs. telling
- writing emotion
- story arcs
- and much more!
Leave Your Ego Off the Page
My heroine was trying to show me a more natural arc for herself. The conflict I had her in helped develop a goal that I hadn’t seen before. After reading Character Development: 9 Tips for Convincing Arcs, a plan to proceed in writing this character became clearer. Whew!
Do you remember the famous line from A League of Their Own? “There’s no crying in baseball!” Tom Hank’s character is the rough-edged manager of an all-female baseball team. His players emotions were getting in the way of focusing on the game.
I say, “There’s no ego in writing!”
When you approach the blank page assuming you know everything there is to know about writing a best seller, you sabotage your chances at achieving that very thing. What do actual best selling authors have to say about writing? Learn how they write. How they earn faithful readers. What they do when their characters get stubborn and your momentum stalls.
Leave your ego off the page and your book will thank you.
Where to Get Help
I have two degrees in English. Thus, my shelves at home are full of books on craft, theory, etc. I’ve even collected a few favorites in recent years like this one. But, let’s face it. These days when we’re writing on various devices and constantly connected to the internet, it’s convenient to have resources just one click away.
I’d like to think we’re friends, you and I. So, I’ve gone ahead and put together lots of references for you in one easy place.
Follow my Author Tips board on Pinterest for 250+ (and growing each day!) excellent tips and tricks for being the best author you can be.
Sharing Is Caring (& Pays off!)
What are some of your favorite resources? A favorite book, website, Facebook group, or other tool for writers? I’d love to add more pins to my board….and we all get smarter.
SHARE your favorite resource in the comment below. One reader who comments will win a $10 Amazon gift card! Share this post using the social share links below (tell me you did so in a separate comment) and earn an extra entry. Winner announced Tuesday, February 21.
This giveaway has ended. Thanks!
So, next time your characters get stubborn, a new plot starts forming in your mind, or your author platform seems to be falling flat, FEAR NOT AUTHOR FRIEND! You’ve now got an arsenal of help right at your fingertips. Go forth and write!
A Pantster’s Guide to Planning
Hand Me the Wrench: A Writer’s Toolbox
What’s in a Genre: Choosing Your Genre Niche