Tag Archives: Marketing on Goodreads

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Does your Character Have a Mirror Moment?

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Make sure you include a critical middle moment for your character…

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others :). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…

TWoMinuteTip

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

 

This is not actually ‘my’ tip, it came from James Scott Bell from his fantastic book, Super Structure: The Key to Unleashing the Power of Story  If you want to check out another of his writing books, he goes into more detail in: Write Your Novel From The Middle: A New Approach for Plotters, Pantsers and Everyone in Between

Super Structure is probably the best book on plotting I’ve ever read (including my own… :)). While the process is technically the same as in most of the other plotting books, the way the steps are laid out in this one clicked for me and made it easier to understand and follow. Even if you are a pantser and not a plotter, this book is fantastic. It teaches you how to basically go from signpost to signpost (14 in all), to create a tighter, more richly in-depth story that will keep readers engaged. He even speaks specifically to pantsers and plotters, explaining how both camps can apply his advice.

One of the most interesting things I discovered was what Bell calls the “Mirror Moment.” It is a moment, almost always halfway through a book or movie, where the character figuratively looks himself or herself in the mirror and states/questions/discovers what they need to do, how they need to change, in order to reach their goal, to survive. Some examples he gave were in Casablanca, halfway through the film, after Rick is mean and hurtful to Ilsa and she walks out, Rick is full of self-disgust and basically asks himself the question: “What have I become? What kind of man am I?” At that point, he knows he must change in order to preserve his humanity. Another example; about halfway through The Fugitive, Richard Kimball is holed up in an apartment, surrounded by police, with nowhere to run. He realizes that he’s going to die, and he wonders how he ever thought he could survive such odds. It was his mirror moment. Why did I think I could do this? I’m doomed… As it turns out, the police are there for someone else, Kimball escapes, and he now knows he has to make something happen in order to survive.

Bell suggests writers figure out the Mirror Moment for their main character before they write the book. If you do that, you will know what point the character must reach in order to change, and writing all the events up to and after this realization should come more easily.

I decided to take a look at a few of my books and see if my main characters had a mirror moment. In Devil’s Promenade, the below appeared about halfway through. My MC (main character) is intent on debunking a supernatural phenomenon, the Spook Light (which is a ‘real’ phenomenon in Northeast Oklahoma),  for a non-fiction book she’s writing. However, certain events unfold that make her realize she might be mistaken:

Brief excerpt:

Packing a blanket, a sandwich, cookies, a Coleman lamp, and coffee, I took the golf cart out to the road and parked on the shoulder, next to a wire fence. Nervous anticipation filled me at the thought I might actually see the spook light tonight. And, I now believed it, completely. How could I write a book debunking something that I knew to be true? Jillian would be furious. On the other hand, maybe she would be satisfied with a book written from another perspective, a book about true paranormal sightings? Not likely. Jillian didn’t have a reputation for being flexible.

I did know that I could no longer write the book I had planned to write. If ghosts were real then I couldn’t deny this spook light could possibly be real. I would stay out here all night if I had to. I wasn’t sure how I would keep from freezing to death in the process, but I was going to give it a shot.

The blackness around me was broken only by the blinking of the cell tower lights ahead and the glow of moonlight. In spite of my coat and the blanket I’d wrapped around my shoulders, frigid air seeped through my skin all the way to my bones. From a distance came the low rumble of cars and a keening sound I was growing accustomed to. The possibility of coyotes no longer frightened me—at least not as much as it had in the beginning—but the haunted wail still sent a shiver through my body.

The second paragraph ‘shows’ that she’s changed, it shows her new realization, and that her goal has now changed as well. Although I wrote this before I read Bell’s book, I suppose that, instinctively, we sometimes realize that a Mirror Moment is an important factor for the mid-way point of a book. I got lucky and just happened to include one. 🙂 I checked a few of my other books and didn’t find that specific moment, but going forward, I plan to pin it down in the beginning and see if it makes a difference in how the story flows and whether or not it makes the book stronger.

Try this…take one of your books (or a few), and flip to the middle. See if your character has a Mirror Moment, then let me know in the comments what you find. Come on, it’ll be fun! 🙂 

Until next time…Happy Writing!

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Get your  two-minute tips all in one handy reference guide:

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

2 minute writing tip final

 

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*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

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16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

11 Comments

Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor, Tuesday Two-Minute Tips

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing (Marketing) Tip – A Week’s Worth of Goodreads Suggestions for Authors

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ A day by day Goodreads plan

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others :). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…

TWoMinuteTip

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

I  haven’t been very active on Goodreads, but I am a member of several groups. The problem is, I do not participate in any of them. I intend to make some changes, and while I’m not sure how beneficial they will be in terms of marketing (and therefore you might be wondering why I’m sharing them now :)), I am still going to do it, because not only am I an author, I’m a reader. And, if participating in Goodreads never leads to sales, it will still give me the opportunity to meet other book lovers and discover new authors/books. Since we are all SO busy, we don’t have time to try all of these at once. My recommendation is to try one per day. In a week’s time, you will have dabbled in each one. 🙂

Here are some steps I plan to take…

Day One: Offer a giveaway. Goodreads provides the opportunity for authors to do a giveaway of a PRINT book. I did so a while back, and it introduced me to some new readers. My writer friend Kathy L Wheeler has been utilizing this promo tool recently, and she inspired me to try it again. https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/new

Day Two: Join a FEW select Goodreads groups, preferably related to the genre you enjoy reading and writing, and actually participate in discussions, rather than pushing your book. You will eventually make some nice contacts with whom you can share that you’re an author. This type of promo is more like a seed you plant and give it time to grow. Don’t drown it immediately, or it will die. (Nor should you give it to me to care for, because I am a notorious plant killer, and it’s demise will be imminent). As I mentioned above, I belong to too many groups. I am going to pare that list down and participate in just a few that truly interest me. A tip: Choose a group or groups that are recently active. I’ve noticed some groups haven’t had any activity in a year or more.

Day Three: Make sure you mark on your author profile that you accept author questions. And, it might be a good idea to ask other authors questions from time to time. This page will show you how to set up an author discussion:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/featured_groups

Day Four: Link your blog to Goodreads. This can be done from your author profile page. Be sure to make your blog description engaging.

Day Five: Update your bio from time to time and make it current and engaging.

Day Six: Recommend books. You can recommend books to your Goodreads friends, which is not only fun and will help you interact, but you are also helping out your fellow authors. https://www.goodreads.com/recommendations/new 

Day Seven: Update your ‘My Books’ frequently. My shelf is very old, and I need to pay more attention to actually listing the books I’m reading and have read. You can easily add and rate the books you have in your Kindle library: https://www.goodreads.com/amazon_purchases?source=r – Which reminds me…don’t be afraid to review on Goodreads and to ask for reviews there. Unlike on Amazon, your reviews will not be removed. And, the more reviews, the more attention a book will get. Even negative reviews will bring your book more attention. 

I know that some authors shy away from Goodreads because of nastiness and trolls, but I don’t think we should let them keep us away. They may or may not target you, but if you do what’s right and don’t push yourself on others, that shouldn’t be an issue. And, if it is, just ignore them. Intelligent, discerning readers can recognize trolls as well as we can.

So…what do you think? Have you or will you try any of these? If you have any tips or feedback, or just plain comments, be sure to share in the comment section.

Until next time…Happy Writing (and marketing)!

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Get your  two-minute tips all in one handy reference guide:

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

2 minute writing tip final

 

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

13 Comments

Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor, Tuesday Two-Minute Tips