Category Archives: new writer

A Little Peek into Katherine

The following is excerpt from my work in progress “Wilstell Ferry River”.

(Please forgive the dialogue not being indented, I was having difficulty with formatting)

Ronan and Able were waiting for Liora in their favourite corner across from the pool table. This was the best place in the bar because you could see the whole club. Positioned up the back in the darker part of the room they remained unobserved, Ronan liked it, he usually worked behind the bar and tired of the constant attention of drunken women.

“You can’t help it can you? She’s the only one under your skin and she’s just not into you,” Able said. He smirked as he put his boot up on the empty chair opposite him.

 “You don’t know what she’s into or who’s into her, you might be surprised,” said Ronan.

“Well, it ain’t her husband that’s for sure cause she never seems to be home, Katherine spends more time here than anywhere else, on the prowl I’d say,” Able replied. He kicked the chair knocking it backwards. “Where’s my damn woman she’s never on time.”

“Hey babe, sorry I’m late,” said Liora. She sat quickly beside Able taking his hand. “What you been up too?”

“Laughing at Ronan making doe eyes at 68 over there. She’s way too much army for him anyway,” answered Abel.

“Hey Beth, do you want a drink? Jack and Coke?” Ronan asked. He always called her Beth if anyone else tried it Able would have knocked them out cold. Liora looked at Able and got an acknowledgement of approval before she replied.

“Yes thanks,” she answered.

Liora watched Katherine as she waited, she envied how strong the woman was. She was an army medic before getting out and marrying the bloke that currently bored her senseless. Liora was pretty sure she’d been to Iraq or Afghanistan and seen some heavy stuff go down, because she had a tough façade that no one seemed to be able to push through. It was this solemn pretence that made her so attractive to Ronan. Plus, the fact she had a husband, he always wanted what he couldn’t have. She looked across at Ronan who was tossing a pool table token in the air repeatedly still admiring Katherine.

“She makes me think GI Jane Barbie whenever I see her,” she said to Ronan.

Ronan nodded still throwing the token. “She so pretty and blonde and sweet looking like something out of a Victoria Secret catalogue until she opens her mouth,” he replied.

“Yeah, she opens her mouth and you’re like wait its bitch face Barbie,” Able laughed. He stood up taking the glass from Liora’s hand and putting it on the table as he pulled her by the arm to stand with him.

“We’re leaving now, I’ve had enough, see you later Ronan.”

Keeping That Promise

I’ve been reading about the importance of a novel’s premise.

Often the premise is used as a marketing tool for a book, but it needs to be much more than that.

A premise needs to be thought provoking and emotionally charged with the theme of your story coursing through it. Your statement should only be one or two sentences and if it’s longer than that you probably don’t have a definitive idea for your premise yet.

Your premise should act like a promise to your readers and your story must fulfill that expectation otherwise you’re letting your audience down big time. Remember your main characters generate engagement in your story and make your readers want to stay. So, does your protagonist really have the depth of character needed to bring that gripping premise to life?

What exciting action scenes are you alluding to in those couple of sentences? Will there be murder, conflict, and betrayal? Make sure it’s there on the pages otherwise you’ll have a whole lot of unhappy fans, if their still fans at all…

For example, if a premise depicts something like ‘Our protagonist breaks free of her shackled existence only to find she doesn’t like the woman she’s becoming.’

The story can’t just be about a woman who gets away from her dominating husband. It needs to incorporate the theme that reveals the struggles of dealing with trauma after abuse, of a woman rediscovering herself and excepting those parts that might cause her shame. Learning to be comfortable with herself completely, the bad with the good. Our protagonist needs to grow and develop so we can enjoy the journey with her. This gives the reader what they were hoping for when they bought the novel based on the promise of it’s premise.

Does your novel’s premise ring true?

A Smile is The Sweetest Reward

Working in customer service for years, I’ve often found the most important thing you can give your customers is time, the few minutes it takes to create that feeling of human connection.

A sense of connection is a basic human need. Unfortunately for some of us we can find ourselves isolated and alone especially in our present time with the challenges we are faced with.

Some of my customers really need to have a chat and feel connected more than they need to buy groceries. I may be the only person they have a genuine conversation with all day and I’m aware how much of an impact the way I respond can have. I feel privileged to be part of their day and always hope I made their shopping experience that little bit brighter. Talking with them about their children, grandchildren or pets can bring the sunniest smile to their face and one to mine seeing the positive difference a little banter can bring to their entire demeanour.

I reckon a book can help do the same thing for people. It can create a connection so a reader can feel part of the story, be best friends with the main character, empathise with them, see through their eyes, and experience an adventure running alongside their favourite hero or villain.

I believe I owe it to my audience to put the work in to each of my main characters, so they have the power and strength to carry the reader high on their shoulders for the entirety of the journey.

And just as I believe that it’s an honor to work in service of other human beings, I trust I’m equally blessed to have the opportunity to build a story that might transform a life for the better, assist someone recognise a change they need to make, or that they’re not alone in life. My greatest hope is to be able to create a story that demonstrates the truth; that we are each challenged, we all make mistakes and need a little help sometimes and all of us have the power to change, grow and triumph.

I write for myself because I love it, but I write for you too. If my story can generate a feeling of connection and meaning for my readers, you’ll see me smiling a big bright sunny smile all year long.

So, to everyone I say, “Thank you”.  Thank you for being that special person I write for.

Can My Leading Lady Hold Her Own on The Big Screen?

When creating my scenes especially dramatic action-packed scenarios they play out like a movie in my head. I can envisage what my characters look like. I can hear their voices, the different pitch and speech patterns. Spending countless hours planning my novel, embellishing my characters I can’t help but imagine them up on the big screen. I don’t know a thing about screen writing or how different it is in comparison to writing a novel.  I still have my novel writing L plates firmly plastered to my forehead and find I’m learning new things about story telling daily. Probably a good idea to finish my novel first, before I attempt adapting it to script format. Still the idea of screen writing seems exciting and it’s always fun to dream.

In the meantime, I have discovered some amazing software, Final Draft 12, this is a professional screen writing program with a load of features and is widely used by the entertainment industry. I especially like the look of the Enhanced Beat Board and the formatting is to industry standards. I plan to purchase Final draft 12 when I can afford to and of course once my books published. 😉

Once armed with this great software I’m going to take a shot at adapting my novel to screenplay just for the fun and the learning journey it will take me on.

Can I even think of good Logline?

Subjugated by her first crush, Liora ultimately breaks free. Struggling to get back to herself, she realises her ascendance as a woman, discovering an underlying darkness only she can oppose. As events unravel in the sleepy town of Wilstell Ferry, will Liora’s fortitude be enough to save those she loves.”

How’d I do?

Beautiful Words but what do they mean?

Make sure your words suit your intended audience.

I love the written word and I like to find and use big obscure words to aid in descriptions of characters, places and events occurring in my manuscript.

Do my readers love this also? I’m oblivious but I don’t want to be. I want them to enjoy my story as much as I did writing it. .

I know each paragraph should focus on one main idea or issue, and information in the paragraph should disclose knowledge about the same concern, so the reader can absorb the material you want them to know.

Similar to writing copy, when writing a novel, you are trying to convey your theme or message across to the reader. It needs to be relatable and connect with them.

I think it reasonable to assume you need your content to be widely accessible for it to be enjoyable to your intended audience. If the reader needs to look up your word choices repeatedly to understand your writing, then you’ve failed them.

Of course, you still ought to be sure you are using the correct jargon if your character would realistically be “in the know”. If your character is a doctor, they need to know medical terms and use them, your audience might not understand the words but are likely to forgive this as it provides the character with authenticity.

 And my own pet hate; don’t overuse the same words because it interrupts the flow of the manuscript and it’s just plain boring.

So, my promise to myself….

If I must look up the meaning of the word in my story to be sure I have used it appropriately, I’ll most likely use an alternate word. 🙂

A Picture Says So much… a Book Cover Says Even More

The general consensus is “have your book cover done professionally” and think of it as an investment to assist with your book’s commercial appeal. My common sense tells me this is definitely accurate, but my creative side is making up book cover images in my head. The practical side is doing the sums of the money it costs just to have it published. Can I save on the book cover if I do it myself? Realistically are the savings worth it? If you’re not on the mark, you sabotage your potential sales and undermine your professionalism.

I have a few artists in the family capable of putting together some stylish artwork for the design. There is an abundance of information on the basic requirements for a good book cover and tips to draw your perspective audience to your work. Making sure your cover provides a sneak peek into the story and denotes the genre your novel exists within are important aspects to include. If you can succeed in having your readers connect with your protagonist from their first glimpse of your book cover, your ahead of the game. I think I can do all that but still, do I want to risk it?

I’ve been considering using Book Brush, its less expensive than some of the other apps I’ve investigated. From what I’ve read its not too complicated to use, has many features and resources. It can help you make regular covers; 3D covers and covers for digital versions. You can add text and stamps easily and search over 1 million free images. Sounds good, doesn’t it? I have a link to Book Brush on my page if you want to check it out.

I’m still early in the conception of my first novel length thriller, I think I have a way to go before I’ll be needing a book cover, so I have ample time to consider my options. I’m feeling inspired by my characters and their adventures to turn the images in my mind into something tangible. Being so invested in them makes me want to be as much a part of the book as I can but I also owe it to my characters to give them my best shot at having their story read. I don’t want our intended audience taking a little taste of the cover and turning away. I want people turning pages and devouring it…

If I have a professional do my cover and I’ve almost convinced myself via this blog post that I ought to, I can offer my sketches as an outline of what I want anyway.

If I do design anything worthy, I’ll post it 😊

What’s your experience, have you had a book cover professionally designed or are you not there yet same as me?

Cover designed with free trial Book Brush