Recently, we delved into what makes a great opener for a novel, covering the key elements to include in your first chapter. But just as there are important elements you should aim to include, there are also elements you should strive to avoid. As we discussed previously, your first chapter has the power to make or break your novel in the eyes of readers, agents and editors alike. Clichés, weak writing, gluts of information, misplaced scenes – all these things have the potential to drive away your audience. For most authors, it’s fairly easy to fall into the trap of any of the following undesirable elements. Mistakes are completely understandable, especially when you’re only on your first draft. But if you keep the following tips in mind while you…
As a writer, it’s easy to feel like you’ve completely exhausted all your ideas when you need to be creative all the time. The good news is, you can never run out of creativity! As John Steinbeck once said, “Ideas are like rabbits, you get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen”. If you’ve lost inspiration for a project you’re working on, or you’re looking for some tips to get motivated to write, here are some activities you can try that will help you out of that creative rut. 1. Read, read, read Perhaps the most obvious of these tips, reading is a great way to reignite your creativity. Sometimes, the best ideas are sparked from a story someone else has already written. If you plan on writing novels, reading is a great way to help you remember what you’re working towards: getting your own book on the…
Scenes drive your story forward; without them, there would be no novel. Your scenes need to keep your reader on the edge of their seat with your plot and characters because otherwise, they won’t keep reading. Looking at your novel on a scene-by-scene basis is a critical step in the writing and editing process. Here’s a list of six things you can do to make every scene super engaging for your readers.
1. Structure your scenes to maintain good pacing You’re probably aware of the importance of structuring your novel, but having good scene structure is equally important. By structuring your scenes carefully, you will ensure your novel maintains a good pace and isn’t full of dull patches.
In his book Techniques of the Selling Writer, author Dwight V. Swain highlights the importance of creating scenes and sequels. He suggests that a scene should always be
There is a romantic myth that surrounds writers. This myth is rife with infatuation, possessiveness and protectiveness: a writer is supposed to be obsessed with their work. Utterly absorbed. If their creative process stalls, or in some instances flatlines, the writer should just work harder. More rewrites, more experimentation. They should even put the draft away to gain that invaluable perspective, but ultimately come back. No matter the grief a project causes, a writer should always come back. It reads like a lover addicted to an implosive partnership. Romantic myth, prepare to be busted. Just like relationships, not all projects are meant to last forever. Some projects might not last a week. A day. A five minute type-out. Some projects you don’t have to come back for. And that’s okay. In fact, that’s healthy. Similar to a relationship that limps on well…
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She yearns for the day when she can escape the disdainful glances and leave her home on the outskirts of Sleepy Hollow, NY. When she lands a lucrative bounty hunter contract, she thinks her life is finally turning around. All she has to do is lure her werecat target from the safety of the Hotel Paranormal.
Then she meets a werepanther. Her life will never be the same.
Alexander Holden, second-in-command of a powerful werecat clan, is accused of murdering the woman he was to marry. He must find the real killer to clear his name or spend the rest of his supernaturally long life on the run.
Complications arise after Janda falls for the man she’s supposed to be capturing.
Now she must decide if following her heart is worth risking everything, including the love they’ve found in each other’s embrace.
Love is about making sacrifices. Saving him is all that matters.
Bounty Huntress is the introduction to the Sleepy Hollow Hunter series.
It is also a Hotel Paranormal story.
The Hotel Paranormal is THE place for supernatural beings looking to get away from it all. Beings like werewolves, vampires, elves, sprites, djinn and more check in from all over the world for business and for pleasure—and sometimes for both.
“A beautifully descriptive, fast-paced tale full of paranormal twists and turns with a dash of romantic heat.” ~ Traci Douglass, USA Today Bestselling Author
“Thanks to Sheri Queen’s smooth, immersive style and her penchant for interesting characters, you’ll not only want to follow Janda Gray into the Hotel Paranormal, but will soon be clamoring for your own magical room key.” ~Heidi Ruby Miller, award-winning author of the Ambasadora series
Half a block stood between me and my future happiness, but it might as well have been a mile for all the good it would do me. From the alley to the bar there was no cover, no shadows to absorb my presence. I’d scoured the surrounding area for another entry point to no avail. Barred windows and a padlocked backdoor thwarted me. I had one shot at getting inside before anyone could stop me, and that meant waiting until the barkeep kicked the last of his patrons out at closing time. While they were busy getting on their bikes, I’d make a mad dash to the front door. I was grateful the street was deserted at this hour, but it was almost too quiet. One stupid move on my part could mean disaster.
I calculated the distance from where I stood, hidden in the alley, to the bar’s entrance and figured I’d probably be fast enough to make it as long as the wolves were so drunk they wouldn’t notice me until it was too late. It was a long shot, but the only one I had. Wolves were quick, even inebriated ones. Their metabolism burned off alcohol within minutes of downing it, which meant my window of opportunity was about the size of a mouse hole. In my Lykoi state I was faster than a wolf—I’d honed that particular skill long ago with all the times I’d been chased—but I couldn’t go Lykoi. Paws didn’t lend themselves to turning doorknobs, so I’d have to do this the hard way. Nothing new there.
I leaned against the brick wall and let the cool autumn air soothe my restless body. My calf muscles twitched, and my stomach rumbled. It was tempting to give in to the urge to transform and run through the woods I’d passed on the way into town. Maybe even hunt a bit of rabbit. I let out a slow breath and resisted my primal desires.
I counted four bikes outside the bar. Mutther’s might be a neutral, no-colors establishment, but I still had to get past the owners of those bikes. Four big-ass obstacles between me and the portal to the Hotel Paranormal. I knew portals existed in most major cities—definitely in Manhattan—but, of course, my only way into the hotel would be through a wolf biker bar. My luck ranged from bad to stinking bad. I was long overdue for a bit of good luck, but I didn’t look for that to happen tonight. My usual mode of blending into the background to avoid attracting attention wasn’t going to work here. There were no crowds to lose myself in, and the glaring neon sign covering three quarters of the bar’s facade was a beacon spreading a swath of red across the sidewalk. Anyone wishing to enter the bar would be doused in light. This had to be the hotel’s idea of a joke—or a test.
Amazon short url: https://goo.gl/8tHjoj
Nook short url: https://goo.gl/G00qdz
iBooks short url: https://goo.gl/Bjub59
Sheri Queen received her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She grew up in the Hudson Valley region of New York—an area she loves to depict as a backdrop for her stories—and enjoys traveling to new places where she is constantly discovering inspirations for her writing. In particular, she loves visiting old graveyards.
You can follow the author at:
Amazon Author page: https://goo.gl/6Z0Etj
I currently use OneNote and the Outlining Your Novel Workbook to plan novels, but I’ve been intrigued by bullet journaling for a while and know a few people who love it. On the other hand, it seems like a lot of extra work. What do you think? Have you done it?
“You may have seen the terms ‘bullet journal’ or even #bujo floating around lately. Bullet journaling is a hugely popular method of organising, documenting and reflecting on your day-to-day life. It’s a customisable combination of journal, diary, notebook, to-do list – and anything else you want to add, really! Bullet journals are used by all manner of people, but they can be especially useful for writers. A bullet journal can help you set writing goals, plan novels, track your progress, practise all-important self-care, and much more. This guide provides everything you need to know about starting a bullet journal and using it to improve and enhance your writing process. We’ll be covering everything from setting up basic journal pages to plotting an entire novel using your #bujo – so let’s dive right in! Before we get…”
New Holiday Anthology up for pre-order!
Starstruck Holidays: A MM Sci-Fi Romance Anthology
By: Jennifer Loring, B. Leslie Tirrell, Merryn Dexter, Kerry Adrienne and Lia Davis
Heat up your holidays with four out of this world, MM sci-fi romance novellas from five bestselling authors.
AND it’s only #99cents through release week, then the price goes up.
From Jennifer Loring’s NO ONE ON EARTH ~ Erukkass has located his deceased lover in another dimension and refuses to leave without him. Jon, grieving a devastating loss, turns to the native legend of Handsome Fellow for comfort. When he and Erukkass meet, can they forge a future together, or will two timelines that have always intersected, no matter when or where, finally be forced to diverge?
From Merryn Dexter’s CONJUNCTION ~ The mystical Conjunction of the moons of Elexon sets two men on a collision course. A pirate and a prince — nothing in common but the attraction burning between them. What starts as a fling soon grows serious, but a relationship built on a foundation of secrets and constructed from lies is no relationship at all.
From B. Leslie Tirrell’s ARIZONA IMPULSE ~ Ambassador Kallell Tezak, the youngest member of the Galaxy Alliance, overhears two of his fellow ambassadors conspiring to take control of the device that protects the galaxy from famine. Kallell knows it is his duty to stop them, but he also wants to enjoy his favorite holiday, Genzebe, and summon the bravery to confess his love for the shy and serious Esten Lazzaro, who happens to be Kallell’s second in command.
From Kerry Adrienne and Lia Davis’s FIRST CONTACT ~ Fugitive Tristan Hawthorne escapes imprisonment only to crash-land on an unidentified, uncharted planet where he faces an alien who stirs passions he thought were long buried. With one working ship and a failing planetary cloaking device, it’s a short time till humans discover Oria and Tristan is recaptured. Under the starry, moonlit sky of the holiday Jainfest, the men learn to overcome their feelings of fear and distrust, and wind up finding out they aren’t so different after all.
Pre-order it at:
Here’s a playlist I put together for my next big project. Don’t forget that starting next month, you can get a free, two-story bundle featuring the main characters if you’re subscribed to my newsletter!