Choosing a Great Title for Your Next Novel

Choosing a Great Title for Your Next Novel

by Ashleigh Galvin If you asked what draws me to a book, like most readers I would answer with the following: a nice cover and a snappy title. A good title is supremely important in making an impression on the reader before they even open the book because it lingers in their mind. If they talk to their friends about the novel, it’s also most likely the first thing they say to introduce the book. Choosing a good title is one of the hardest parts of writing a novel. How can a writer summarise the feeling of the entire book in just a few short words? I won’t lie—it’s tricky. This article will look at how to come up with a title that will suit your novel and engage your readers. Asking around, the piece of advice I heard the most was, ‘It will strike you like a bolt of lightning. Suddenly, you will just know!’ I got this advice from readers, not authors. I took this approach when trying to name my first novel, Birth By Fire’s Embrace. It was well after I had finished the novel and started the editing process that I realised it wasn’t that easy to pick a title. It wasn’t going to drop out of the sky in front of me. A good title needs work, patience, and a lot of thought put into it. I wrestled with titles for weeks before I finally settled on Birth by Fire’s Embrace. About a month after finishing Birth by Fire’s Embrace, I started to work on its sequel. I was typing away at home one night when I paused. It had just hit me: the title. After painful weeks wracking my brain for the first novel’s title, the second one was developed in a matter of seconds. I finished that novel with a smile as, for me, the hardest part was already done. To create a good title, you really need to get a comprehensive feel for your novel. The title needs to reflect the vibe of the book. But remember, there are always two sides to the coin. Let’s take a look at some popular examples. Example one: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling. The main character’s name is Harry Potter, and the story is about the Chamber of Secrets. Nice and simple. It tells the readers what they want to know, but still retains enough mystery to interest them in reading it. It’s a straightforward title, following the style in which the novel is written. Example two: Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. Short and extremely mysterious, it suggests nothing, but allows the mind to explore possibilities. Both titles are great...

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Will Wretched Fate’s Characters Find the Change They Crave?

Will Wretched Fate’s Characters Find the Change They Crave?

by Joy Shearer Wretched Fate is the second novel in the Detective Sam Osborne series by mother-daughter authors Sharon Swope and Genilee Swope-Parente. The crime/romance novel is, in part, a story of metamorphosis. Each of the main characters must leave their past behind, if they can, to build a better life. Will they be able to achieve their dreams? Rosalie struggles with her weight, self-confidence, and her relationship with her mother.  She doesn’t look like the women in magazines and her mother is no help in her attempts to lose weight. She cooks for Rosalie and serves her fatty foods in heaping helpings. Rosalie puts much effort into accepting herself while aiming to get healthier. Will she find a way to accept who she is now and make the changes she wants? Jacob strives to leave behind his troubled childhood. His parents had an odd relationship that left him leading an isolated life. He hardly ever leaves his mansion where he writes best-selling romance novels even though he has no real experience with romantic relationships. He doesn’t like others to disturb his schedule, so he’s hired a groundskeeper who very rarely enters the house. He has a cook who lives in a cottage on the property and only comes to the mansion briefly to drop off his meals. Can he learn to connect with outside world? Wretched dreams of having a real family and normal childhood, but can’t see how. He only has vague memories of a woman holding him close. Now, still a child, he is living a nightmare. He is in bleak circumstances and sees no way he’ll ever have a life like the kids he observes at a carnival. Can he escape his condition? Wretched Fate’s main characters all want to change their lives, but are unsure if transformation is even possible. Read the intriguing novel to find out what happens to Rosalie, Jacob, and Wretched.   Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...

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Creating and Developing Characters

Creating and Developing Characters

by Ashleigh Galvin When an author is struck by a bolt of inspiration for their next “bestseller,” it’s often accompanied by character ideas. A lot of my story ideas are based around characters I would like to write about, personalities that I want to stick into certain situations just to see how they are going to act. But it’s important to learn as much as possible about a character before you start writing about them. Note that I said “learn,” not “make up.” You can’t tell people how to react. For example, you cannot tell your boss he isn’t going to be annoyed that you just spilled coffee all over his urgent paperwork. It’s the same for characters in your books. How they react is all about how you develop them while they are still budding ideas, barely on paper. This article is a short piece on creating and developing compelling characters. When I have an idea for a new character, I try and name them as soon as possible. A good name is everything. Not only will it endear the character to readers, it will help make them feel “real.” Once you have named your character, they will start to take form in your mind; they won’t be just a thought any more. A name is also important for the character’s impact on the story. If you name your rough and tough biker Ichabod Osmond Nadeir, then he is going to get some strange looks. Perhaps that’s why he always introduces himself as Ion, his nickname. Personally, I like to know what my characters’ names mean. In this instance, Ichabod means, “the glory is gone.” The nadir is the lowest point of an object. However, Osmond means ‘divine protector’ and Ion is an ancient Greek hero born of the Sun god Apollo. This man must have a hard past and an interesting future. Once your character has a name, you’re ready to start fleshing them out. I always start with their past as it’s what makes them who they are now. Look at the character’s life prior to the beginning the story. Look at their parents, their birth, how they were raised, where they were raised. Did anything important happen when they were young? A few years ago I created a profile template, which I use for my characters to this day. It’s about five pages long and it’s a great point of reference if I get stuck. It has the basic questions like “Who is their Best Friend?” But it also has some more interesting questions like, “What is their favourite food?” and, “Their most hated colour?” While these little questions might never be mentioned in your...

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Why SPMG?

Why SPMG?

by Joy Anne Shearer   Looking for a publisher? Spectacle could be the answer. The following are advantages to working with this dynamic and personalized publishing group. At SPMG, the author and their work come first. One of the biggest indicators of this is that no agent is necessary. You can request assistance in putting together your query and you will be apprised of every move along the way. From access to staff by phone or email any time you might have a question, to workshops for your piece when it needs a few improvements to be the best it can be, Spectacle will walk you through the publishing process. We’re writers too, so not only do we understand where you’re coming from, we’ll help you take advantage of each step so that your work will be given the attention it deserves. SPMG is experienced in and prepared to assist you with what’s new, including eBooks and audio books. The number of readers on digital devices increases all the time—readers who the people at SPMG want to help you reach. Traditional book printing is also available. Before your book ever hits the stands, our Public Relations and Marketing Department will work with you to develop your brand and get your name out there. All in all, at SPMG we truly support what writers are doing and want to promote your art. You can find more information at http://spectaclepmg.com. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...

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From the Publisher’s Desk

From the Publisher’s Desk

Scene and Setting: Writing in A Void Sometimes when I’m writing, I get so excited about the plot events, that I forget the rest. By that, I mean sometimes the action happens in a void. I think it’s very easy to forget that, as writers, we are responsible for every nuance of the reality of the story, every aspect of the world in which we write. The burden then becomes two-fold – detailed enough to keep the reader’s attention, but not laboriously so, as not to slow down the pacing of the story. The second challenge is consistency with internal cosmology (you know, things like gravity). In many stories this can be taken for granted. A romance tale will not necessarily have to deal with aspects of time dilation because no matter how in love the characters are, they aren’t going to be travelling faster than light. That said, the supporting characters and the world they live in must be internally consistent. If Old Jim is a toothless storeowner, he must always be a toothless storeowner, unless there’s a reason – preferably on page – for him not to be. But you know all this, and I digress. Back to the void. When writing a critical scene, a plot point as it were, it’s important to draw the moment out, to slow down time. Think about the air quality and light quality the characters exist in. Is it raining? Is it night or day? Are they standing or sitting? On what? Is there background noise? What is making it? Do they know? Have they been there before? Answering just to of these questions will change your scene from a plot point to a pivotal moment of story. What are your techniques for avoiding the void? Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...

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