I don’t know about you, but naming my books are one of the hardest parts of writing process. You want to be creative and unique without causing readers to scratch their heads trying to understand the meaning behind your title.
I always give my writing projects a working title. It makes it so much easier for me in discussing my book with other writers or potential readers.
I am always tempted to create an overly clever title. Lately, I’ve been using locations as inspirations for several of my mystery projects. For one of my current projects called: Old Woman, I’m toying with a new working title: Dry Dock. I like the idea of suggesting a person who is under repair, isolated from society. I don’t know…just an idea at this point.
If you are having problems with crafting a title, think about a location in a key scene or a feeling that you want to invoke in a reader. Working titles are a great way to test out a title without commitment.
I am constantly finding inspiration from real life for my murder mysteries. It is important that I find a way to capture this info in a format that works best for my writing process. I find that I like to use Evernote for quick, short notes about book ideas or plot twists. I prefer hard copy for research notes, plot outlines, and character notes. I create a digital notebook and assign a particular physical journal for hard copy.
Don’t try to follow someone else’s note taking approach if it doesn’t work for you. You will find lots of suggestions online on the best way to take notes. I’ve learned through trial and error what works best for me. I appreciate having a digital copy of my notes that I can access from multiple devices. My journal is kept in my writing bag so it’s with me whenever I head out to write at a local coffee shop or library. I like being able to flip through the pages as I write. This is what works best for me.
If you aren’t sure, then have fun exploring the various options out there. Try note cards, notebooks, or digital notes. I’ve tried note cards, but just could never get the hang of them. But, I know fellow writers who swear by note cards to plan their books. Back to school sales are a great time to check out new physical note taking options. There are always plenty of blogs/vlogs on better ways for note taking. Never be afraid to try something new or to stick with what works best for you. Never let note taking be a block towards getting your book written…
Developing a character can be a hard exercise for writers. It helps to develop a character profile – imagine details that you would use to create a social media or dating site profile. It helps me to visualize the character and how they would act in any particular scene if I know a little about their background.
It is part of my research to develop profiles for all major characters and key minor characters. If I’m stuck on a name, I will list them as <collegeroommate> and move on in my writing. It helps make it easier to go back and find out these unknown character names. Since I like to set my books in a specific location, then I will do some research in old census records to identify family names. Thank goodness for internet searches to find list of popular baby names by year.
As I write, I continue to develop each character’s profile. Needs, wants, and desires that help to create a 3-dimensional person. Since I write in a contemporary world, then having realistic people helps create more authenticity.
It is so hard to hear anything negative about your writing. I have to fight to not get defensive when someone doesn’t seem to understand something in my writing. I force myself to take a deep breath and really listen to their comments. Even if I don’t agree, I try to find something to take away from their review.
I’ve meet writers who are overwhelmed by criticism. They find it heart crushing to hear that someone didn’t like their writing. They lose their creativity as they keep hearing the negative words in their head as they stare at the blank page. Folks, unless you plan to never share your writing, then it is time to develop a thicker skin. I still have a thin skin about criticism, but I’ve been working harder to make it a little thicker. I want to be able to not take criticism so personal. To be more objective when reading reviews.
You have to understand that no one is exempt from criticism. There will always be someone who doesn’t like your book because of vague or petty reasons. They just might not like the color of your book cover. There will be haters who hate everything and you are their new target. There will also be jealous wannabe writers who cannot stand that you have managed to publish while they are still staring at their half-written book. Just shake it off! Thanks to Taylor for the inspiration.
Listen, reflect, and then it is okay to ignore a review as you keep writing your story.
Are you living the life you want? Do you have regrets about past decisions? Writing can help soften these regrets by allowing you to escape to an alternate universe where you can make your dreams come true…
I’m suggesting that you can craft the perfect life in your writing, based on your own life experiences. It will help add to a sense of authenticity of your characters plus allow you to fulfill your desires and goals. Things that may be out of reach in your current life.
Perhaps you have always wanted a certain type of relationship, then why not write it into one of your stories. Do you wish that you had a certain career or lived somewhere? Then why not have your character experience these scenarios. We all have those moments where we regret making a certain decision. Why didn’t we turn left instead of right? Why not explore what could have happened if you had accepted that job after college?
Your writing can immortalize your current life or explore the roads not taken. Your imagination is the only restriction in crafting your alternate universe…
There are thousands of writers out there in my genre. We all have to fight to get our book to the top of the bookseller charts, to gain reader attention. But, I am not in competition with any of my fellow mystery writers. I don’t care if they are making the big bucks and signing the movie/television deals. My only competition is me.
Judging my writing against someone else is always going to lead to angst on my part since there were will always be someone who is better out there at crafting a sentence or plotting murder. I am content to compete against myself of yesterday. I can only improve on today and have confidence that I will be a slightly better writer tomorrow.
Don’t fall into the dark hole of despair by judging your own work against other writers. Ignore them. Focus on you being the best writer possible. No one else will have that unique twist of your story because they are your stories. You never fail when you try your best. And, reminder, you will always be better tomorrow than today.
In today’s publishing world, I believe that writers need to act as entrepreneurs. No matter the route that you are taking: self-publishing or traditional publishing, you need to be prepared to market and sell the sh#t out of your book.
I love to read blogs and articles about start-ups, professional blogging, and Search Engine Optimization (SEOs). I try to find useful information to apply in selling my books. As far as I can see, when my books are available, I am going to have to fight through a crowded market to get the attention of my potential reader base. I don’t expect to be able to just release my book and it jump to the top of the charts. As a self-published writer, I don’t have a powerful and connected publishing house to support my book. I need to do whatever possible to make readers aware of my book.
I created this blog and matching social media accounts to help publicize my writing. Right now, I am an aspiring writer, but soon I hope to be a published writer. I advise you to check out blogs for ideas on marketing your own writing projects.