The simple structure, clear elements, and unadorned style of fairy tales are something all writers can learn from. After all, fairy tales have passed the test of time. They engage readers (or listeners) exactly because their simplicity makes for dynamic (and dramatic!) stories. Regardless of what genre you write, here are the top five things writers can learn from reading fairy tales.
1. Craft a strong beginning
The classic ‘Once upon a time…’ story beginning immediately creates a connection with readers. It is familiar, while at the same time promising a new adventure. These are four magical words for kids, and for many adults. And that’s the point right there: the beginning of your story should be magical. A strong beginning should:
Convey a sense of atmosphere (giving a clue to the genre and style of your story)
Establish the setting
I’ve been crap at updates recently, but there’s good reason for it, I PROMISE. In this post you’ll find a quick rundown of those reasons (i.e. everything that’s releasing/I’m working on in 2017, subject to change).
This erotic horror series officially debuts this month, but you can get started with a couple of teasers, one of which is my story “Suck.” Check it out here.
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…
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
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!
It’s been a busy year (in a good way!) and looks to stay that way through the end of 2016. In roughly chronological order, here’s what’s coming up for the rest of the year and what’s on deck after that.
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(First scene of Chapter One)
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