How to Plan Your Storyline

How to Plan Your Storyline

So you have a brilliant storyline in mind now. It’s time to get writing. Even if you have a great idea on how to write a story, actually executing it into a great plot that will get heads turning can be incredibly difficult. Great storytellers often intuitively know how to put a plot together from reading a lot of books, but for most of us, it helps to have a little bit of guidance when it comes to structuring a plot storyline.

Learning the basics can actually go a long way in making a story more engaging. Every wonder why most books and novels manage to suck you in near the end? Many scripts and novels follow some of the basics.

Some basic outlining of your outline and work can be helpful at this stage. Try this stuff out when you write for fun whether it’s flash fiction, fanfiction, or short stories. As you get the hang of it, you’ll find that you will naturally be able to structure things better.

There are a few styles of story arcs that can be used. The most famous ones are film based but often apply to great book storylines as well. The two most famous ones are the three-act structure and the hero’s journey.

In this article, I’ll focus more on the hero’s journey.

Here are the basic summarized steps of the Hero’s Journey. This isn’t the exact hero’s journey but modified slightly for modern stories.

1. Introducing an ordinary person

There is where we learn about the character in a normal world setting. You get to see the character as a typical person in a typical world.

2. The problem occurs

This is when the problem appears and reveals itself to the character. In many horror stories, this is where the monster reveals itself.

3. Denial

This is typically where the main character feels qualms or resistance to taking on the trial and tribulation. In many cases, this might be when the character initially turns the adventure down. This is when Shrek says no to everything. In love stories, often times this is a denial of feelings.

4. Getting Advice

The main character usually has a mentor or teacher who gives sage advice that is relevant only later on in the story.

5. Starting the adventure.

Passing the first barrier of the problem. This can often be a mental gap that leads the character in the journey.

6. Fighting battles

A series of challenges that the character has to go through.

7. Approaching the greatest challenge

There is always a “boss” or a big challenge that the character has to face. There is always this build up. In the first Harry Potter novel, this is when Harry approaches Voldemort.

8. The Point of No Return

This is the point where in fighting the great challenge, everything that goes wrong, goes wrong. Everything seems hopeless. This is when Indiana Jones is about to die or there is a terrible break up that reverses all romantic progress in a romance story. If somebody cheated in the film, it’s likely that here is where that’ll come out. Many of the best short stories manage to pull the point of no return off extremely well. This is what makes the ending often so juicy.

9. The Resolution

In a miraculous finish, the hero manages to figure things out and solve the impossible problem. The character comes out better, learning key lessons, and victorious. (or in the case of a tragedy, it ends badly here). The bad guy is defeated and the good guys win in a wild finish!

Ebook Formatting Choices: Why You Should Convert Epub to Mobi

Ebook Formatting Choices: Comparing EPUB vs. MOBI Side-by-Side

In this article, we’re going to be examining two different common eBook formats side-by-side. The first is the EPUB format, which is one of the most common formats out there and is able to be used on multiple devices including your tablet computer. But we will also be looking at the MOBI format, which has a number of advantages that you may not even have been aware of if you are not in the ePublishing business currently. Understanding what these two formats entail, and what the differences are, as well as what sort of benefits you can get with each one individually, is going to go a long way towards helping you figure out which eBook format you should be publishing in.

The Advantages & Disadvantages of the EPUB Format

Now, let’s look at some of the advantages that come with publishing within the EPUB format. This is a particularly easy to publish in format, and it has widespread use across most of the E-reader applications out there and even some devices like the Nook. Some of the other advantages include the fact that you can include HTML with some of the more advanced EPUB formats. EPUB 2 and EPUB 3 have a lot of different formatting options for you to use in your book.

Really the only disadvantage of the EPUB format is that you are not able to read it on Amazon Kindle devices unless you get a third-party application. On some Kindles, this is not even possible, but on the ones that are more like tablets than solely E-readers – the ones that allow you to install applications – you can find an app that that you read EPUB books.

The Advantages & Disadvantages of the MOBI Format

We will also take a look at the advantages and disadvantages the MOBI format. MOBI is a file format used specifically for the Amazon Kindle. Although there are a couple of applications that read MOBI formats, none of them do it nearly as well as the Amazon Kindle. The MOBI format is a closed format and is specifically intended for use with Kindles.

Of course, the disadvantage of publishing in the MOBI format is that you are not able to have your book read on any other devices while it is in that format.

The Bottom Line – Use Reedsy’s converter between Epub to Mobi

The bottom line is that unless you are publishing on Amazon and enrolling in the Kindle Select Program (which makes your book exclusive to Amazon for 90 days) then you should probably publish in as many formats as you can – and particularly EPUB. You want readers to be able to read your book on their terms and not yours. You can get more help with understanding formats and at Reedsy. There are plenty of articles on everything from writing to publishing and everything in between. When it comes to self-publishing, getting as much information as possible is the best gift that you can give to yourself.

Need Help Finding the Best Coffee Maker? Look in here

You are able to ascertain the form of coffee maker you need by assessing why you will need java. The coffee maker is one which is not only updated with technology but also user friendly and user friendly. When it has to do with choosing the coffee maker for yourself you surely don’t need to purchase something which is worth less than that which it is actually.

Be certain the coffee maker isn’t tough to disassemble, take apart and clean. The best coffee maker is one with a heating element that is amazing. Make certain the machine also will have a warranty for replacement and you get the coffee maker from a manufacturer that is trusted should there be an issue.

Imagine having to jump from one kind of coffee maker to another simply because you have yet to get the perfect one! However you take a look at it a completely free coffee maker is equally as useful as a costly coffee maker. You might even feel that a completely free coffee maker will somehow be sub-par from the expensive ones. Purchasing the very best coffee maker can be challenging sometimes. If you wish to understand what the very best coffee maker for you is, you need to clearly ponder on your choices.

Coffee makers can be found in many sizes and shapes. So for you to begin with that ideal cup of coffee every day, you’ll have to start with select the best coffee maker for you. You’re likely to be in a position when you discover the most effective single cup coffee maker for your very own specific needs.

Finding the cup of coffee sometimes not as easy as it seem. For a good deal of us, coffee is critical to starting the day. It may be the most popular beverage in the world. It’s also great if you would like to brew two kinds of java in regular, decaf or the time.

You find yourself saved from wasting a great deal of coffee. Be certain you don’t store your coffee too. You should think of how much coffee you’ll need. Over time, coffee has been among the commodity that is most crucial and has been part of daily ritual to every person. It does not necessarily need to be regarded as a means to an end, meaning that it may be a decadent and delicious treat once you’ve got a machine to work with. Tells you precisely what sort of coffee maker you will need. When you would like to brew coffee that is mild the percolator is something you will need to consider.

All About Best Coffee Maker

Do not be concerned if your coffee maker does not arrive with one, you have the choice to purchase it. Another kind of coffee maker is your drip that is automated. Not many coffee makers reach that temperature shop carefully and be certain the utmost temperature is recorded. With professional evaluations accessible to read and consumer reviews, you need to have the ability to find just the coffee maker to fit your needs.

Coffee makers are not different. You would like your coffee maker to create coffee. There are various sorts of coffee makers available, all making different forms of coffee. If that’s the case you could benefit from learning about the new coffee makers today.

When you go to purchase a coffee maker there are many choices it’s tough to comprehend which to pick. You don’t wish to need to get a expensive coffee maker only for it to quit working because of a technicality but the spares aren’t simple to find. You must shop around until it is possible to locate the very best coffee maker which makes the coffee for you inside your plan. You are going to be surprised to find if you’re trying to find the single cup coffee maker.

If you’re looking for an espresso maker, you will see a catalogue of espresso makers valuable. Mr. Coffee Programmable Coffeemakers Many individuals love Mr. Coffee coffee makers not only due to its price but in addition due to its efficiency. Attempt to have a machine with better build quality, preferably one in case you would like to use your coffee maker at least one time particularly with more metal than plastic. A coffee maker doesn’t need to bust the bank.

If it comes to getting one that gets you through the hours, a coffee maker, there are a lot. In the end, as soon as you’re contemplating which coffee maker is ideal for you, it’s better to locate a model that’s user-friendly, and high-volume, heavy duty. By doing some research on  the different kinds and brands out there you are going to be in a position to get you the coffee maker. When you are selecting the very best coffee maker for RV, list the things which are essential for you and purchase.

Word Counts for Novels According to Genre

Word Counts for Novels According to Genre

Congratulations! You have an amazing idea for a novel that you think could really be the next big thing on Oprah’s Book Club!

You’ve figured out an amazing plot line, have some super enticing characters, and have a twist that will put all other twists to shame. There’s just one thing you might have forgotten to consider…

… How long it should be.

So, the question is, how many words in a novel?

The length of a book is one of the most important elements. In fact, some literary agents and publishers say that it is just as important as the story itself.

But why is the length so important?

Because you want to hold the attention of your audience… If your book is too long, you’re definitely going to lose their attention. Your novel may seem too long and drawn out, which can make it really hard for your readers to make it to the end.

Similarly, if your book is too short, your readers may be left feeling dissatisfied. They could be left scratching their heads and have a ton of questions that are left unanswered. Unless you are planning on writing a series and can answer all of those questions in upcoming books, that’s definitely something you don’t want to do.

Image result for reedsy novel length

So, How Long Should a Novel Be?

When it comes to determining the length of a novel, the genre is really going to play a key role. Different genres have different goals, and those goals can be met with word counts.

So, without further ado, here’s a look at what agents, publishers, and well-known authors recommend for average word lengths for different genres:

  • Science Fiction and Fantasy Novels. Of all the genres out there, science fiction and fantasy tend to have the longest word counts. That’s because there tends to be a lot of plot building and detailed explanations involved in these stories. In fact, readers expect books in this genre to be on the long end. On average, a science fiction or fantasy novel should be between 90,000 and 120,000 words. You might be able to get away with as much as 150,000 words, depending on your particular story; however, you really don’t want to go far beyond that (or you may want to avoid it, if you can) because your readers patience will really be tested.
  • Romance. The average romance novel contains anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 words. If you’re writing your book for a younger audience, such as young adults, stick to the lower end of this recommendation. If you’re writing for an older crowd, you can safely get away with more words. However, do keep in mind that you want to avoid overkill.
  • Mysteries and Thrillers. If you’re writing a book that ties into this genre (including horror), a good length would be anywhere between 70,000 and 90,000 words. You can successfully build enough suspense in this word count without making it seem too long, drawn out, and boring.

Using J.K. Rowling’s Plotting Chart Like a True Writing Nerd

Using J.K. Rowling’s Plotting Chart

There is no doubt that JK Rowling is a master of plot. The Harry Potter books introduce elements in the very first page that become important by the end of the book and that goes for the series as well. Innocuous little elements that you don’t even register consciously become majorly important in later books. So, how do you keep all of these things straight? One of the tools that JK Rowling used when plotting the Harry Potter books was a series chart or plotting chart. She actually released one that she used for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix which you can find here. We’ll be discussing why this chart works so well in this article.

Image result for jk rowling plot chart

The first thing you will notice as you open Rowling’s chart is that all of her major subplots are listed as the columns of the chart. The calm that she reserved for plot simply describes the action that is happening, but she also keeps track of other elements of plot – her subplots – like what is happening between Harry and Prof. Snape, the love triangle between Harry, Cho Chang and Ginny Weasley and plot points like Hagrid and Grawp.

Another thing that is really useful that rolling uses in her plot charts is a list of the time period when the events are happening. This makes sense because they take place over a normal school term at Hogwarts. However, even if you do not necessarily use time the same way that Rowling does, keeping track of when you’re plot events are taking place could be very useful especially when it comes to things like describing the weather or showing the time has passed.

You will notice, if you have read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, that this plot chart does not follow the actual plot exactly. That’s another important lesson to keep in mind here. Just because you write it down in your plot chart does not necessarily mean that you need to stick to it. In fact, having a plot chart like this can give you more confidence when it comes to allowing your characters take a detour. Characters can often have a mind of their own, and letting them go their own way sometimes works out very well for the story. If you have a chart like this, then you can always bring them back on track.

The bottom line is that while some writers like to write by the seat of their pants without any plot whatsoever, and others like to plan out everything in great detail far in advance, there is a way to do both by finding middle ground between these two extremes. You can create a loose plot and then allow your characters the freedom to move around through your story. Even if you just write Harry Potter Fanfiction, you should get a lot of use out of this method. There is no doubt that a chart like this can be useful in that regard. There can also be no doubt that JK Rowling has been able to use this device to become the most successful children’s author ever.

Check out this geek dating site to meet other Harry Potter nerds

Can You Self-Publish a Picture Book?

Can You Self-Publish a Picture Book?

Lots of people want to write picture books. Part of the reason for this may be that they think that the task is easier because picture books are so much shorter than novels, but most of it probably stems from the fact that picture books are children’s first readers, and parents and other adults remember picture books that they loved as well as picture books that they read to their own children or young nieces and nephews. Whatever the motivation, many writers are not sure whether they can self-publish a picture book. The process seems much more complicated than publishing a novel. The fact is that picture books can easily be self-published, but you have to keep a few things in mind. This isn’t an in-depth look at the topic but if you’re looking for more information on how to publish a children’s book Reedsy has a pretty detailed article on the topic.

Image result for children's book reedsy

Picture Books do not Sell Well on Digital Platforms

The first thing that you should know about picture books is that they do not sell well on digital platforms. One of the reasons is that people prefer a physical book so that they can read it to the children at bedtime. It is pretty difficult at present to read a book with your child on a digital device because you need to both be able to see it easily. Books just make more sense for bedtime reading.

It Can Be Difficult to Format Picture Books for Self-Publication

Picture books can be a nightmare to format, which is why many people avoid self-publishing them altogether. While there are methods for getting picture books uploaded to digital platforms, the fact is that formatting the text and pictures within a book for young children often requires an expert – and most people cannot afford this expertise. Reedsy has been working on book writing software to make that process easier.

Picture Books Can Be Really Hard to Market

Picture books are difficult to market even when they are in physical form from a traditional publisher. One of the things that make them harder to market is the fact that Amazon and other retailers pay you a lower royalty due to the increased size of the book. The more pictures there are, the bigger your book size is and the less money goes to you. In addition, you are not going to be listed in the industry catalogs that libraries and schools buy from. This is where a significant percentage of children’s books are purchased, and getting listed in these catalogs when you are a self-published author is difficult and impossible if you are strictly digital.

Picture Books Are Harder to Write Than People Think

Most people think that writing picture books is easy to do. The truth is, Dr. Seuss was a genius not a two bit poet. It is actually quite difficult to write good children’s books, but many people think that they are good at it and editors have to sift through this pile every year to find the small percentage of authors who actually do have the talent to write children’s books. With self-publishing, and without an editor to guide you, you will have an even more difficult time.

 

5 Things You Must Include on Your Author Website

5 Things You Must Include on Your Author Website

Your author website is one of the most important tools that you have as a self-published author. It is a place where people come to see who you are and what you are about, as well as to check out what else you have written. When someone really likes your work, one of the things they might do is type your name into Google to find out more about you, and if you have an author website set up and optimized to be in the first spot for your name or pen name, then they will likely visit it first. But what kind of things should you have on your author website? Here are five elements that you absolutely should have.

Information about You

The first thing that you must include on your author website is information about you personally. That is what people are coming there to find out. People want to know things like where you live, how old you are, whether you are married or single, how many children you have and maybe some personal information like your favorite authors and books. Whenever someone thinks of you as a celebrity or someone that they would like to find out more about, you want to make sure that you oblige is much as you can, even if you are a private person.

A List of Your Books

You also want to have a list of your books available on your website, as well as a link with each one that leads directly to the Amazon page for that book so the people can buy them if they want. Having a good, high-quality picture of the book cover that is large enough to see as well as a basic blurb is a great addition to any author website.

An Opt-In Mailing List

You are also going to want to have an area where people can opt in your mailing list. This will allow you to email people whenever you release a new book, and have a list of your readers basically on speed dial so that you can send out news, tell them about specials that you are having or simply announce the release of something new.

Contact information

You are also going to want to have contact information on there. You can just have a contact form if you want, but you do want to leave both readers and other people way to contact you. Suppose a traditional publisher came along and wanted to contact you about a book deal or someone wanted to buy the movie rights to your book for some reason.

An Active Blog

Finally, you want to have an active blog. The reason for an active blog is that it provides more keywords for your website to be indexed for, and posting regular content improves your search engine optimization as well. Plus, the more blog readers you have the more potential sales you have for your books. If you need an author site made, check out this IT Support NYC company.

Reasons You Should Self-Publish

5 Good Reasons for Self-Publishing

If you are considering self-publishing your novel or non-fiction book, you are not alone. Lots of people consider self-publishing to be one of the best ways to get books out there these days. That’s because there are some really compelling reasons to self-publish. Let’s take a look at five of them.

Self-Publishing Means Higher Royalties

You actually get higher royalties when you self-publish; like a lot higher. For example, if you go with a traditional publisher, you could get a royalty between 10-15%. The publisher gets to keep the rest. But you don’t even get to keep that 10% yourself. Besides taxes, many traditional publishers will not even read your manuscript unless it comes from an agent – a practice known as only accepting solicited manuscripts. But self-publishing does not require an agent and your royalties will be a lot higher. For example, as long as your digital book is priced at $2.99 or higher, Amazon will give you a 70% royalty on every sale and only keep 30%. That’s a huge difference.

You Still Have to Promote Yourself

Even if you decide to publish traditionally, you are still going to have to do your own promotion. Publishing houses rarely do promotion these days and they never do it for brand new authors. The most promotion that you might get as a new author is a listing in the Baker & Taylor or Ingram catalogs, which goes to schools, libraries and bookstores. But you will have to do book tours yourself, as well as any other advertising.

People Read Self-Published Fiction

In the past, one of the major disadvantages of self-published fiction is that people wouldn’t read it. That’s because there was very little of it that was worth reading. But self-publishing today has created some major bestsellers, and even some of the biggest authors in the world have self-published work, so people are much more open to the idea of reading self-published fiction.

Self-Published Books Can Look as Good as Traditional Ones

Another advantage to be aware of is that you can make your self-published book just as good as traditional ones. You can get an amazing cover from a professional book cover designer at a fair price these days, and you can use the same formatting for the interior of the book as traditional publishers do. You can even hire an editor to make your book as good as possible before you publish it. Self-published books can be just as high quality as traditionally published books.

Self-Publishing is the Future of Book Publishing and a lot cheaper

You might also not be aware that self-publishing is going to be the way the book publishing is done in the future. For one thing, digital books have basically taken over the reading world. People read books on devices now much more often than they read physical books. Plus, even authors that have been traditionally published for decades are starting to move towards self-publishing because they make more money and have more creative control over the content.

 

A Couple of Nifty Exercises to Get over Writer’s Block

Exercises to Get over Writer’s Block

Writer’s block can be one of the hardest things to deal with for someone in the middle of a story or novel. When you get caught up in writer’s block, it can cause depression and make you think that all of the work that you put in so far means nothing. It can make you think that you are never going to finish the piece that you are working on. While most writers get over this condition by themselves, there are some exercises that you can do to get over writer’s block more quickly. Let’s take a look at five exercises to help you get over writer’s block. We have found that sativas and hybrids help a lot with writer’s block.

Write a Different Scene or Chapter

The first trick that you can use to get over writer’s block is to try writing a different scene or chapter in your book or short story. Sometimes, the piece that you are currently working on is what is causing the problem, and if you come back to it later on after you have worked on a different part of the story, you come back with fresh eyes that may allow you to see if there was a problem or how you can continue the scene.

Enter Man with Gun

Raymond Chandler says that if you come across a snag in your fiction then you should have someone enter the room with the gun. Of course, Raymond Chandler writes mystery novels. You may write something completely different, but the principle still stands. If you find that you are stuck in a scene, have something unexpected happened to the characters and see where things go from there.

Get to Know Your Characters Better

Sometimes, writing fiction can be a struggle because you do not know your characters well enough. You may want to do a biography on your characters, or perhaps an interview format, in order to get to know them better and see if that solves your problem.

Work on a Different Project

You can also work on a completely different project instead. If you are having trouble with the story or novel that you are currently working on, then try to work on something else for a little bit. Don’t do it for very long, because you don’t want to lose track of where you are on the original piece. But there is no harm in taking a day or two and working on something different so you can come back to your original project with a new perspective. If anything, take a break and use an ice cream maker to make yourself a treat.

Read Something to Inspire You

Finally, read something that inspires you to write. Sometimes this can get you over writer’s block quickly. You can either choose something fiction that you really enjoy and think is amazing, which inspires you to write something just as amazing, or you can read something that one of your favorite authors has written about the process of writing. Sometimes that is all that it takes to get your story kick started and get you back on track.