Why Setting Matters More Than Characters in Many Novels

I remember being asked the same the same question two times in my life.

What are the words that you use to define yourself? EX: Mother, Father, Writer, Reader, Explorer.

After making a long list choose three.

For a character, three character traits might define them but you see the same traits repeated over and over. Why don’t we get bored of all the superhero movies, detectives, or vampires? Well, that because even when there’s a surge in one type of character or plot the setting is different. By placing the characters in other places you get the opportunity to show them in more than just those three traits.

You can write a character who enjoys playing violin, and thats telling about a character’s interests. But put that character behind the scenes of an orchestra and then you will really SHOW how much that character enjoys or is obsessed with the culture of violins.

I am not trying to say that setting is more important than character but without it, the character would be hollow. By putting our characters in different situations we are more easily able to flesh them out.

When you think of a character from your favorite novel I doubt you think of them alone. You may envision them in a scene or srounded by other characters or in their story world. By contrast you would probably find it much easier to invision your favorite movie character.

In film the audience gets to see everything. Every piece of the world, ever facial movement, every shadow. I know I’ve worked in film. That’s why I find writing so magical. We have to craft our setting without every detail and allow our reader to fill in the details on their own. Therefore what we choose to describe becomes important. It takes on a life of its own in creating the mood, tone, foreshadowing, red herrings, and the subtext.

The very words we use become important (particularly in first person). We can show the characters beliefs about the world, their mood, their predispositions and can be used to show the characters story arc. Having the MC return home and see the setting in a new way is a trick as old as writing (see the first written story the Epic of Gilgamesh) but it’s not cliche nor will you ever hear about it being overused.

For example, Harry Potter would be so different if it were set in the future. It would make the magic less interesting, less dramatic, and it would change most of the drama. Imagine if they had cell phones, any owl related or information retrieval drama letter getting events would no longer be interesting.

I write all this just to remind you not to forget about your story world, even if it’s modern day. Turn your setting into its own character and enchant the reader by letting them see the world through your eyes.

What It feels like to Finish Writing a Novel

Euphoria. Where ever you are when you put down the last line of your first draft, you will stop and look around as if seeing the world for the first time.

Every breath will seem new, delightful, fulfilling, life-giving. Every sound is pleasant, softly filling the world with a harmony of earth song.

Empty. Completely lost, like you’ve let go of all earthly ties. Your goal, which you have put so much time, thought, effort, blood tears, stress, and joy into is complete. It’s done. I’ll have no idea what to do next. Do I stand up and dance? Call all my friends? I feel completely emotionless, almost meditative, above the world.

I usually sit in silence. Then slowly rise and, mindful of my every action, cook myself the first good meal I’ve had since devoting myself to my work. I am completely at peace and have no idea what to do next.

Some times I think I should jump onto the next project, start a new book, do something. But I can never feel the complete release and full euphoria of being alive until I write that last line.

Having finished five manuscripts of 90,000 words or more I will never get tired of this feeling. It is always the same and always a great relief. Even being a nonreligious person I still feel the need to describe it as a spiritual release, a disconnection with the world, the highest of vibrations.

I feel accomplished. I feel proud. I feel all the things my lack of self-confidence won’t let me feel at any other time. I feel truly me.

And it feels wonderful.

Dissecting Query Letters That Get Your Manuscript Read!

I’ve been very fortunate to receive three custom responses from publishers on my first manuscript World War Marlow. So today I wanted to share the structure and ideas behind how I broke mine down. I’ll be writing this mostly for people who were in my shoes last year- having only the base knowledge of what a query letter is.

Query Letters are the gateway drug to your novel, if it interests the editor, they’ll read your manuscript. You’ll get one of four responses to sending out your letter.

  1. A regular old form rejection
  2. A custom rejection (This indicates that your Query was good but something about either the novel or the timing with the publisher was poor)
  3. A request for the full manuscript (if you didn’t already send in the whole work)
  4. An acceptance letter (or at least a ‘is your manuscript sill available’ indicating that they read both your Query and Manuscript and want to talk with the other editors about possibly publishing it)

So assuming your manuscript is well written and you are sending it to publishers who are interested in the material you write the only thing in your way is your query. So first I’ll tell you the pieces and show my query at the end. By no means am I a query master, but I did do my resource and get a decent response.

Most importantly: Always Follow the Submission Guidelines Perfectly

Even if they counteract popular advice or take more work to do.

Part 1: Formal Intro

Your heading aligned top right with the following information:

 

Your legal name (followed by your pen name if you have one)

Your Adress

Your email

Your website

Your phone number

Dear (editor name),

 

Please always do your best to find the editor you want to read your work. I do heavy research (twitter) to figure out what type of person will be reading my work and what they are interested in.

Part 2: The Into Paragraph

This is a very short paragraph (1 or two sentences) that is the hook and the summery of the inciting event or unique point of your novel. If you screw this up, they might not even bother reading anything else. For inspiration, I recommend reading through Query Shark. Here was mine.

Marlow has just become the youngest candidate for ultimate political power over the corrupt Planet Merc when his dreams of out-doing his brother are squashed by a forced engagement to a boy from the slums.

 

Part 3: The (not very) Long Summery

How do you summerise 90,000 words in 100? This is the hardest part of writing a query. You need to highlight the most important parts. This changes from novel to novel but let me give you some ideas as key points.

  1. The external conflict
  2. the internal conflict
  3. the villain/ enemy/ obstacle to be overcome
  4. the emotional journey of the characters
  5. the world this is set in

On the other hand, things you should almost definitely leave out are:

  1. Subplots
  2. Side characters
  3. Specific plot points
  4. The ending

Remember: you have to give the reader (in this case the editor) a reason to care about your main character, what their goal is, why it’s so important (the stakes), and what they must overcome in order to achieve it. Here’s mine:

Marlow lived in the shadow of his older brother until his death five years ago. Now all Marlow wants is to ratify his legacy by reforming the homophobic and classist world that drove his brother to suicide. He knows full well any misstep in his campaign could cost him his career, so when his good-for-nothing father and carefree brother force him into a relationship with Quinn, Marlow is mortified. Though Quinn is more than happy to change Marlow’s view of the world, he stands between Marlow and a successful life as a political leader. Meanwhile, Marlow’s arch-enemy will do anything to sabotage his campaign. Marlow must overcome a past of abuse while competing in near-fatal challenges. He fights his way through political battles, toxic relationships, and tries to make the world a better place in his own cynical way.

Part 4: The Logistics

As simply as you can put the title, word count, genre, target audience. I like to include that I’ve had it beta read but this is added fluff, I’m not sure if it makes any difference to the publisher.

World War Marlow is an 88,000 word LGBT Romance intended for new adult audiences. My beta readers really enjoyed it and I hope you will too.

Part 5: Customization

Tell the editor WHY you chose to submit to them. You must have had a reason more than, I read about the company in a book and your website wasn’t sketchy. If that is what you did then do research on the about page of the publisher. The research you did to find the editor will come in handy too as you can now say what you like about them as a person.

Customizing the query letter shows that you are truly interested in them as a company and are willing to put in the work. It also shows your common values and can reveal more of your novel.

I really appreciate ______ dedication to publishing stories that are about more than just the romance of LGBTQ+ characters. That’s why I wanted to submit a story that not only mirrors modern-day problems, but displays a character with more on the line than just his heart.

Part 6: About the Author

What makes you stand apart? What are your credentials? I didn’t think I had many either but what’s important is to show what you have going for you. If you have no writing experience then consider writing why you are the person to tell this story. What about you makes you the perfect author for a book on this topic. Are your Characters trying to climb a mountain and you’ve hiked Everest? Are your characters transgender and you went through the same struggles coming out? This is also where I chose to mention that I have other books in the works. Some editors I’ve talked to like to know about sequels, some hate it.

I’m Jasper Jay the author of the writing blog On Planet Merc. I’ve been running the site since 2015 when I completed my AAOT in English. Since then I’ve attended 3 writers conferences, completed 4 unpublished novel-length works and begun minoring in Creative Writing at Columbia College Chicago. If my novel intrigues you I have a couple of ideas for sequels if you are interested in going that route.

 

Part 7: Closing

Very straight forward and formal closing remarks. Thank them for their time, indicate that you have followed their guidelines and attached exactly what they asked you too, and sign-off. I used “Have a sparkling day” at the end of all of my emails in general. I feel it adds an additional personal (and gay) touch.

Thank you for your time. I’ve attached the full manuscript as you requested. I look forward to hearing back from you.

Have a sparkling day,

Jasper J Adams

I hope this helped you in understanding the anatomy of a query letter and gave you some helpful tips as to how to write yours. Have a great rest of your day!

 

The Whole letter:

Jasper J Adams

___Blank St._____, Chicago, IL 60645

Myemail@gmail.com

Onplanetmerc.wordpress.com

(541) 400-4000

Dear _____,

Marlow has just become the youngest candidate for ultimate political power over the corrupt Planet Merc when his dreams of out-doing his brother are squashed by a forced engagement to a boy from the slums.

Marlow lived in the shadow of his older brother until his death five years ago. Now all Marlow wants is to ratify his legacy by reforming the homophobic and classist world that drove his brother to suicide. He knows full well any misstep in his campaign could cost him his career, so when his good-for-nothing father and carefree brother force him into a relationship with Quinn, Marlow is mortified. Though Quinn is more than happy to change Marlow’s view of the world, he stands between Marlow and a successful life as a political leader. Meanwhile, Marlow’s arch-enemy will do anything to sabotage his campaign. Marlow must overcome a past of abuse while competing in near-fatal challenges. He fights his way through political battles, toxic relationships, and tries to make the world a better place in his own cynical way.

World War Marlow is an 88,000 word LGBT Romance intended for new adult audiences. My beta readers really enjoyed it and I hope you will too.

I really appreciate ______ dedication to publishing stories that are about more than just the romance of LGBTQ+ characters. That’s why I wanted to submit a story that not only mirrors modern-day problems but displays a character with more on the line than just his heart.

I’m Jasper Jay the author of the writing blog On Planet Merc. I’ve been running the site since 2015 when I completed my AAOT in English. Since then I’ve attended 3 writers conferences, completed 4 unpublished novel-length works and begun minoring in Creative Writing at Columbia College Chicago. If my novel intrigues you I have a couple of ideas for sequels if you are interested in going that route.

Thank you for your time. I’ve attached the full manuscript as you requested. I look forward to hearing back from you.

Have a sparkling day,

Jasper J Adams

How to Develop a Character With a Strong Personality

I always envied anime because fans dress up as their favorite characters and meet up to talk about them. I always wanted a highly recognizable main character that people would fall in love with. So I did a study of my favorite characters. This is the presses I use to create characters that are extraordinary.

1 Start With An Emotion

Picking a main emotion for your character will not only help you get into their head but also write consistent dialogue and actions. I’d recommend picking a more complex emotion such as distraught, overwhelmed, self-loathing, or melancholy. This is a starting place for you to develop a complex character, just make sure there’s a change in overall emotion or tone by the end of the novel and poof, you have a dynamic character.

2 Turn It Into a Phrase

Once you can feel this emotion you want to portray can you find a piece of dialog that might convey how it feels. Not necessarily describing it, but that you would say when filled with it.
“I’m trying my best” is the phrase I selected for my easily frustrated and sad main character
Others ideas:
“Hell yeah!”
“Stop it.”
But you see how this can be understood in different ways depending on the emotion behind it. Some can be playful, some can start out as sweet and become sad, such as when a character who has died has his words restated later in the book.

2.5 Bonus Step: Turn It Into An Action

I can see the motion behind these words. “I’m trying my best” is yelled after turning dramatically back around, maybe through tears. “Hell yeah” is said with the character throwing his hand into the air as if to fist pump. But these are relatively lame examples as I don’t want to drone on for 500 words.

Getting this action down not only gets you in the mindset of describing emotion through action, which is very important for good writing, but it gets you seeing a situation, a plot perhaps, or possibly other characters that your MC would be interacting with.

3 Make This Movement/ Phrase Into A Turning Point

Whether this is the moment that forces your character into the point of no return, how they recover from the dark night of the soul, what happens at the plot twist or the climax or conclusion, having this central line appear at a time of tension can really lock a character into place. The line can be a great starting point for developing a plot or a scene.

I hope you found this helpful. If you came up with a phrase please let me know what it is in the comments below! Have a great day.

How to Set Reading Goals That You’ll Actually Stick Too

When setting goals I like to be as free-flowing as I can, that is until it comes to reading. Last year I casually saw the Goodreads reading challenge and decided to try it out. I blew my measly goal out of the water. So in preparation for all of us reaching our reading goals, I want to talk strategy.

The Unspecified Goal

When setting your goal I would avoid phrasing it in terms of day or week goals. These, once missed, can make it even harder to pick up a book as you know you have already failed your ‘resolution’. Instead, turn that into a year number. This way you can play catch up if you have a rough week.

Build the Habit

In the end, the idea of reading a certain number of books isn’t the goal. You won’t ever be finished reading, There’s never going to be a day where you say ” oh, oops I just finished reading the last book in existence”. Instead, the real goal is to develop a habit of reading. So if you can, try to find a specific time of day to read during, have it fallow an activity you do every day such as getting home from work, eating breakfast, or brushing your teeth.

Avoiding Burnout with Topic Switching

I’ve already compiled a good list of books I want to read (no surprise there) but my strategy is to switch between fiction and nonfiction books every time I complete one. My list so far goes as follows:

Seven Steps on the Writer’s Path: The Journey from Frustration to Fulfillment 

Unwind

Paper Hearts, Volume 3: Some Marketing Advice

Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe #2)

The Power of Myth

 

Finding Time

A good audiobook for the commute? A physical book you leave in your bag for anytime your waiting in line?
A habit of reading before bed or when you wake up?
Switching from YouTube/Netflix time to reading time?
These are just a few of the places I’ve seen people add extra hours to their day. Identity a habit you resolved to break or do less of on January 1st and whenever you catch yourself doing it, go read instead.

Finding Inspiration

The coziest spot in the house is one chair in the plant and cat sun room at the end of my apartment. It’s warm and quiet and relaxing and I may only sit there when reading or writing. It’s a great way to get my butt sat down to read.
Another way to get inspirered is to pick out your books ahead of time so you can get excited about them! Nothing will make you more eager to finish reading the book your on than knowing there is another great book to follow.

Alert: Don’t Force Yourself to Read a Book You Hate

There is nothing that will keep you from reading again like a really awful book that you tell yourself you have to read ‘for the goal’. You will never want to pick it up and often times won’t move onto another until you completely give up on it. If you aren’t enjoying it put it down. It will always be there for you to pick up again later if you are suddenly interested.

What books are you reading this year?

Tips Should Writers Take From Modern Media (TV, Video Games, Film, Anime)

Writing is by far the most inspiring media we have. So many different stories transcend time. Told by billions of different people, they are the gateway to other points of view and other passions. But more and more people have been turning to the easy to access and addictive TV, films, and video games (duh). So what can 21-century writers do to enhance their writing and make it appeal to a more modern audience?

Focus on a compelling/original plot

Of everything, this is the main standby of all current media. Action points, big realizations, twist, turns, dark nights, and high points drive the viewer to not only keep watching but to keep going right this second. Having a plot that is unpredictable is one of the keys to keeping readers reading. Making your story either fast passed or tense on every page will not only turn it into a page turner but hit media.

Over the top characters

The people who stick in our memory the most are the ones with the most extraordinary personality’s. No longer are the days where all men must be tough and fit ( Newt Scamander I’m looking at you) or where the woman have to wait to be saved. Making your characters three dimensional will not only keep your readers guessing what they will do next but you will create someone who can transcend into our reality and stand out amongst the many ‘fit in a box’ characters flooding our media.

Expand your world building.

Escapism is just as popular now as it was when writers first started fictionalizing. In video games and anime specifically we see a huge rise is sci-fi worlds and endless magic. A lot of writing can be taken over the top by exploring the world more deeply. Writing magical realism, fantasy, and history all have the ability to transport your reader to a land of their own imagination and explore it even more than you could possibly come up with on your own.

Embrace what’s special about writing

We are writing for a reason and I don’t think it’s because we can’t direct, film and star in a movie of our ideas. Writing extraordinary sentences expands our minds and takes us to realities beyond our own. Getting personal with a novel will not only show us the beauty and hardships of another life but can awaken us to viewpoints otherwise unknown to us. So write artfully, create literary work and keep it over the top both in prose, plot, and person.

Choose Your Hero- advice on writing and living a great story

I’ve always wished that life had a character creator. The idea of clicking a button and not only looking like but fundamentally being a new character has always excited me. I used to seek out games that had highly customizable hero, but in the end, the ones I’ve enjoyed playing the most are where the character come alive while I play. They’re my other personas.

Looks and clothes mean nothing without the traits the characters possess and in a way, those things fall in line once the personality is solid.

So what are the traits of a hero?

I analyzed my favorite characters from books, movies, and games, listing out their traits and then seeing what they had in common? What I emphasized with and what I wanted to be.

But these changed over time as I got older and yours may be different depending on how you were raised. I did decide on one characteristic that all Hero’s have in common which you can read here.

But when I looked back through my notes there was something missing. You see all of the best characters are imperfect, fallible, lifelike creatures. I was putting to much pressure on my self and my characters to fit in a box and be extraordinary in every circumstance.

And some of these traits are the hero’s flaws.

So passionate they are blind to the real world.

So strong they believe they can not fail.

I strongly believe that to find your character you must think of them in a defining situation. What do they do when their morals are challenged? When their life is in danger? When their house burns down? And what do you do, dear reader, when the things you define yourself buy come under attack?

A book made of dynamic characters shows each person growing and learning due to situations that arrive in their life. That sounds familiar, doesn’t it? It’s so easy to believe the world is out to get you, the cards are stacked against you that an author is telling your story. But we get to change that story for our selves.

As you write your world will change and you will grow and like your main character you will have to rise to the occasion and meet it or risk suffering while you try to solve it.

Writing and living are two sides of the same coin. That’s why this year I’m focusing on merging both my writing advise with living advice.

Everyone has a story to tell. Every story its trials and tribulations. No matter the background. No matter the plot. Whether you know the story or are riding by the seat of your pants. It time to embrace your next adventure.

So go forth, dear reader, and seek out your next chapter.

What I’m reading right now: seven steps on the writer’s path

You might also like: How to Write Someone’s New Favorite Character

Tricks to Get Through the First Draft of Your Novel

Finishing a novel isn’t only a great excitement it’s also a weight off your shoulders. I remember letting out a deep breath, looking at the words ‘the end’ and then being completely lost as to what to do next. Writing this book had been the main goal of my past five years. Since then I’ve used what I’ve learned to write five more manuscripts in five years. So today I want to give you the tools you need to get to that breath of relief sooner.

Many people aspire to be writers and authors but most seem to fail. The best of them get 30,000 words in before switching to another project. But there are normal people who have writing novel length works. This is a simple guide to the mental game behind completing your first draft.

kelly-sikkema-594314-unsplash.jpg1: Remember That It’s Just a First Draft.

It doesn’t have to be perfect or even good. Even if you put your all into every sentence, you might end up not needing the scene. But at the same time, you don’t want to write awfully because that will make it very hard to edit. It can also affect your stamina in finishing the draft. For me, knowing the first part of the book is poorly written or will need major edits makes me not want to write on it anymore and I will often end up abandoning the project.

That’s why NaNoWriMo works so well for me. I’m able to write quickly but well. I’m not worried about the quality of the draft but I also know any given scene could be vital or dropped. It makes it so I don’t put too much pressure on myself but can’t go back to edit the first few pages (because that doesn’t add much to my word count).

2: The Dreaded Deadlinekevin-ku-392517-unsplash.jpg

Having a deadline is a great motivator for most authors. Having a self-imposed deadline can keep your mind from wandering off to other projects. I know that if I work on one project too long I’ll get bored of it and won’t want to keep working on it. So if you can work as quickly as possible. A lot of authors will release one book a year so you could try making a resolution to complete and submit your novel within a year. Or try NaNoWriMo or any other book in 30-day challenge. Just remember that the faster you write the draft the more time you’ll spend editing.

If writing fast isn’t your thing I have a couple of suggestions as well.

3: Write The Most Important Parts First.hannah-busing-446337-unsplash.jpg

It can sometimes be the most beneficial to write only the things you need for the first draft and then fill in the rest later. You can still write in chronological order so that you understand and build towards the climax. But dropping the less important scenes will keep your draft shorter and more fluid. Then you can always go in and fill in the rest later. This is also good if you’re someone who rewrites a lot or changes their plot half way through.

4: Plan a Big Reward for Finishing the Draft.jason-leung-479251-unsplash.jpg

Giving yourself a reward is the opposite of the deadline. Allow yourself a special gift, trip, or break if you complete the draft. Alternatively, you could set smaller rewards for getting through with chapters or getting halfway through. Saving up a little bit of money to treat yourself at the end can be a constant reminder to work on your project.

5: Make it a Competition

If you have other writer friends you should definitely try either having an accountability partner or making it a competition. See who can finish first, buy a coffee for your friend if you don’t make your word count, there are a lot of different things you and your friends can try. Maybe even sign away your first born child if you don’t finish your novel in time (that will really motivate you). But just remember to keep it light and fun.

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6: Make it a Habit

Sometimes the hardest part is just starting. Sit down and tell yourself you have to write one sentence and then you can do something else… or you can keep going. Or block out 15 minutes and say you can’t get up or look at anything except your draft until the time is up. One of these tricks should boost your mojo. You can also Create Your Perfect Writing Space which you only use for writing. If you have a designated space it makes getting in the mood to write much easier and turn it into a habit. Check out my other post (and the video) for inspiration.

7. Companion Novels


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Books like Novelist’s Boot Camp: 101 Ways to Take Your Book From Boring to Bestseller and book in 30 a month are extremely motivational but any book can become your companion. The trick is it has to inspire you to write without letting you copy its style or intimidate you. There are plenty of books that I enjoy reading while I write but have to remember to put down when I get excited so I can transfer that energy to my project. You could also watch a TV show or anime that’s similar to what you’re creating but I find myself sucked into them for much longer amounts of time.

What are the things that motivate you to write? I’d love to hear them and any of your other thought in the comments.

Finding Your Writing Accountability Partner– Your Writing Community

A writer sits alone drinking tea (or maybe bourbon) as they stare down the blinking cursor on their blank page. Accompanied only by their cat the writer enjoys the silence that comes with being in the flow, pounding out words and achieving daily goals. But how much of this is reality? The idea of the introverted writer might seem ideal but sometimes writers need a kick in the butt to get them going or a friend to celebrate with.

The easiest way to stay committed to your writing is to have an accountability group. Your writing community will not only help you to brainstorm new ideas and move forwards when your stuck but will probably have connections and insight into publishing, editing and more. So where can you make friends, stay accountable and celebrate life’s little successes? Today I wanted to give you some resources to help you find or found your own writing community.

Meetup.comdownload (2)

This is a great resource for meeting new people. Look up writing groups in your area or start your own, you’ll be surprised by how easy it is to set up and attend meetings. Get updates on your meetings by email or just check in when you’re ready to meet new people. There are lots of fun events on here. You could try meeting up with your target audience too.

Writers Conferences and Writers Classesthe-climate-reality-project-349094-unsplash.jpg

Whats a better place to meet new friends than where you all have something in common and are practically forced to talk to each other? Some of the best companions I’ve found at conferences and sometimes the best part of the convention is the people you meet.  Start by sitting down beside someone and listening to their conversation. Then you can either butt in or start a conversation with the person later based off of what they seem to be interested in. Don’t worry it won’t surprise them, all writers are eavesdroppers.

 

Redditdownload

If you don’t need to be in person then Reddit is a great place to talk with people from all over the world. If you ever need a quick response there are many groups that you be a part of. Make sure to look for specific genres so you get the closest community possible. Just remember not to self promote on Reddit, you won’t get anywhere. Instead, ask questions and answer others. You can make a lot of friends this way. Maybe even ones in your hometown who you can meet up with IRL.

Forumsmarvin-meyer-571072-unsplash.jpg

Other than Reddit there are quite a few forums out there dedicated to all different genres, styles, and audiences. A quick google search will uncover dozens in your area or field. This is another great way to get known by your target audience or do research for your current WIP. There are so many forums I don’t even want to mention any other specifics.

Blogs anete-lusina-609857-unsplash.jpg

The comments section on your favorite blog can be a great place to meet new people. Consider commenting on all of your favorite posts to see what conversations start. OR start your own blog like I did. When you start building a fan base you can be as engaged in your followers content as they are in yours. It’s a great way to make friends because you can also talk to other writers about your favorite bloggers! (Maybe you’ll even have some of the same in common).

Goodreads         1454549184-1454549184_goodreads_misc.jpg

Meet Bibliophiles, writers, authors, and readers. See what your friends are up too and be motivated to read more. Goodreads is one of the least talked about social media platforms. There are plenty of writing competitions, discussions, forums and prompts to be found here. It’s easy to link to your Facebook and start discussions with current friends about new books. Leave reviews if you’re into that or just join your local group to meet readers and your target audience.

Build your ownalejandro-escamilla-2-unsplash.jpg

Even if you only have one friend who writes, they probably know others. Try reaching out and inviting them and their friends to meet up at a coffee shop or at your home. I’ve done this personally several times and have always left with one or two more fantastic friends. Try posting on facebook, twitter, or any other social media where your friends congregate. Then invite them over for a writing session, party, or just a time to update each other on what you’re working on and gain inspiration.

Facebook             fb-logo

The same advice applies on Facebook. If you create an event people will come. You can also either join groups or create your own and ask others to join. Once you’re in a group just say what’s on your mind. Offer your advice for other peoples questions and slowly build a repertoire with the regulars. You know how facebook works, just try it.

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There are plenty of great youtube writers who build communities in their comments section. Try searching for a problem your having and see what the comments have to say. Reply to people or just browse, the choice is yours. You could even try starting your own youtube channel like I did. You can always receive one-way information and don’t have to connect with people in the comments. It’s the perfect introvert solution.

What’s your go-to source for making writing friends? Did I leave any out?

I hope you found this helpful! If so, please consider liking, commenting and or linking. Thank you and have a sparkling day!

What I’m reading right now: Your first 1000 copies

Another post you might enjoy: Unique Gifts For Fiction Writers (and 10 best books on writing)

How to Write Someone’s New Favorite Character

How do you create a character some is obsessed with? You see it in movies, tv, and anime all the time. If you’ve ever been to a anime/comic con then you’ll know how obsessed people can get over characters they are passionate about.

So what is that one thing that lovable characters have in common? Some may answer that it’s the Everyman or woman, someone very relatable who rises up and solves big problems. Others say its characters full of badassery and quirks. But there are plenty of both of those type who fall flat. So what’s the trick?

In some ways you need both of the traits above but there’s a very easy way to create someone who your reader will obsess over.

Think for a moment, who in your life are you obsessed with? Who do you want to hear everything from. You would fallow them to hell and back and want to hear all their stories? You likely either though of your best friend or a close family member.

That’s who you write. I don’t mean the person specifically but have that same feeling when you write your people.

Have your character be someone you want to hang out with. Your best friend. Write someone who your readers want to meet and befriend.

That’s when people obsess over characters. They want them to be real so much so they do everything they can to make them as real as possible. Writing fan fics, cosplaying, drawing them.

You want to know everything that your best friend has to say. You’ll happily listen to their rants and problems. You want them to succeed and you want to help them.

If you write romance then have characters you would fall in love with.

If you write ‘returning home’ stories then write a hometown you want to go home to.

Don’t just write what you want to read, write who you want to meet, headlines you want to hear more about, things that make you angry, truths you live by.

Write with passion and write about people who make you passionate. Write your life and tell your story.

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