Tag Archives: advice for authors

Getting Unstuck as an Author

21 May

Shannon, here, for one announcement: I’ve joined Pinterest as well. You can join me by clicking here. I have boards for The Timely Death Trilogy, November Snow, and Take Me Tomorrow – as well as boards for cats, coffee, and my crazy imagination. There might be some spoilers, but I try to keep it to a minimum. Think of it as “behind the scenes.” I hope you like them.

Now – for today’s guest blogger: Hanne Arts!

Sometimes when I’m writing, I get stuck on a sentence or an idea, or I simply give up altogether and procrastinate instead. Everything seems better than to fight through the obstacle at that time.
 It is, however, necessary to fight through that brief “down.”

Every writer has them, and every writer deals with them differently, yet here are a couple of tips that I personally find very helpful. It might help you along the way as well!

1) Write (about) something different.

I often find myself staring at my computer screen or getting frustrated over not finding the perfect words. Sometimes, however, it is necessary to acknowledge that fighting with the same strategies will not always work. If you apply the same principles, the same problems will pop up again! If you try something entirely new, whether this means throwing the old manuscript out the window, giving it a twist, or momentarily focusing your attention on a new (practice) story, certainly try it out! A new approach will bring freshness to the story. Furthermore, “writing something different” does not even have to be content-related. Maybe you just need to write in a different style, genre, or with a different voice. The more you try, the more smoothly the words will come to you later.

2) Change your environment or approach.

Changing your setting or writing area can entirely change your writing and consequently spice things up. Moreover, it might get you unstuck. If, for example, you usually write in a quiet room, try going out to a café and writing there. You might get entirely different ideas and inspirations, and, on top of this, it will enable you to observe the people around you. I sometimes also choose to write by hand rather than my usual typing, and this sometimes helps me produce ideas and keep going.

3) Write in a different order.

Usually I start my story with either an ending or beginning in mind. I then fill in the pieces in between. This, however, is simply one way of doing things. You could just as well know the plot and then create a start and end, or you could start with a mere scene in mind. If there is a scene that is currently vivid in your head, write it first before the idea gets lost by the time you get to it!

4) Read your favorite book(s).

Read books you like that inspire you because, quite simply… they inspire you. Ask yourself why you like the book(s) and apply it to your own work. Wouldn’t you want to have the same effect on other that that author has on you?

5) Relax.

If you currently have no inspiration, no sweat. Focus on other things and experience life. Later come back to your writing and view it with new ideas. You’ll have new ideas and new motivation. Nobody feels inspired all the time (for me it is often not there at all, but when it is, I cannot stop writing for days and days on end). If you don’t feel like you can take a break from your writing or you have a deadline to make, then simply put yourself to writing something each night (or morning – whenever you usually write). This will put you in the right mindset and make you more fluent and time-efficient in the future. (You could even try timed exercises to further train and challenge your brain.)

– Hanne Arts

Hanne Arts can be found here, but here are more of her blog posts:

30 Writing Prompts

The Seven Best Tips to Fight Writer’s Block and Writer’s Jam

9 Common Writing Problems…and Their Solutions

6 Basic Guidelines to Make Your Book Work

5 Mistakes that Authors Make that Lose Their Readers

 

 

Publishing Tips: Marketing Your Book

21 Apr

Website Update: April 22: 8:00 a.m.: Shannon A Thompson Facebook Fan Page hit 200 likes today! Thank you 😀

10 days before the Minutes Before Sunset release (AEC Stellar Publishing) ! 

I know many of you are fellow authors or are working to become one, so I thought I’d dedicate today’s post to bringing attention to your work. (Especially since I’m often asked how I gained as many followers as I have) So below is a list of aspects to consider along with websites before you begin marketing (which I used myself to get where I am today.)

1. Readers: There’s no mistake that they are my number one is my list. Readers are vital to an author’s ultimate success. A writer could have the best publishing team for their story available, yet if they don’t have a relatable and entertaining story, an author won’t make it. The readers, in the end, decide, and that’s why I really suggest connecting with your fans as much as possible. Have an email they can send you messages, questions, and reviews too. Connect with them on all the websites below (don’t force them to join, but rather connect with the ones that are already on the sites.) Create a Facebook page they can follow (since many don’t feel comfortable sharing their personal Facebook, and I completely agree with that.) and talk to them on there. Figure out what they like and what they didn’t like about your book. Be willing to change. Be even more willing to help them change by supporting their dreams to become a writer or something else entirely. Personally, I love searching around the web for fellow writers, readers, and bloggers. I follow their blogs, and I often like or comment on material. That way, I find readers, rather than expect them to come to me, and I don’t expect them to follow back. They can reciprocate or not, because I’m coming to them as a reader (not a marketing writer) and respecting their work. If they check me out, and decide to support me, that’s great!

Oh! And never stop writing. Even if you're drenched in monsoon rain in the middle of an airport.

Oh! And never stop writing. Even if you’re drenched in monsoon rain in the middle of an airport.

2. Internet: Join as many social networking sites as possible for both yourself and your work. If you click any of the website below, you’ll be taken to my personal page, but you can see how authors and readers can connect through these communications. You can even join, too!

  • Have a blog: If you don’t have a publisher yet, you’ll surely run into this in the future. Blogs are essential in connecting with readers, so you’ll almost be expected to have a website. If you don’t already have one that you keep updated on a regular basis, I’d suggest creating a page with a blog. I update mine (this very page) every two days (three if I’m having a particularly busy week) with information on entertainment, writing, and publishing. This allows my blog to be focused but also fun to write and fun for others to read. 
  • Facebook: No one can deny how popular Facebook has been over the past couple of years. Even when you create a new profile, you fill out your “likes,” and that’s where authors and books come in.

    One part of my Interactive interview on Twitter with Sezoni Whitfield.

    One part of my Interactive interview on Twitter with Sezoni Whitfield.

  1. Author Page: Create a page for only you. This way you can announce all of your books, events, and other announcements all on one page. Personally, my author page has the most activity, compared to my individual book pages.
  2.  Novel Fan Page: This is purely created so fans can put your book in the “favorite books” section and/or follow news specifically about the book they enjoyed. I have one for both “November Snow” & “Minutes Before Sunset.”
  • TwitterTwitter is wonderful for finding writers and readers. Simply use a hashtag (#) and find anyone under the sun that is discussing the topics you want to connect with. I’ve also done an interactive interview on Twitter with Sezoni Whitfield, and I gained 200 followers in one days.
  • Publisher’s page: If you have a publisher, be sure to include their page, information, and more contacts. This allows your readers to see what you’re up to professionally, and it also gives them the opportunity as writers to see how the situations differ and work.
  • GoodreadsShelfariBoth of these websites are focused on readers. It allows a place for readers to connect and discuss what they thought about a book. Add your novel to join in on the conversations which include reviews, favorite quotes, bookshelves, lists, and trivia.

    Flyer used

    Flyer used

  • Amazon Author Central: For both published and self-published authors, you can control your author page on Amazon. This is wonderful, because you can connect it with your novels, blogs, Twitter, and Facebook. You can also announce events.
  • Linked In: This is mainly for professionals you’ve connected with: publishers, agents, cover artists, editors, etc. But I recommend joining it, because you never know which one of those very types of people may come across your resume.
  • All Author’s ListA free database that enhances your ability to appear on the internet.

Think about the internet this way: the more you’re involved, the more likely your name will pop up on a Google search. Don’t hesitate to spread yourself across many social networking sites, because readers go to many different websites to find authors.

3. Now Market! 

Now that you’ve joined the World Wide Web, you can start sharing your name and news all over. Without going into extravagant details on all those websites again, however, I’ll give other opportunities.

  • Find local businesses willing to support you. Print out flyers and share them with their customers. I have to thank Ice Fire Hookah in Shawnee, Kansas for doing this for me. It is very kind to know such a great group of people willing to support the arts.
  • Accept interviews, but also apply for them: Currently I’ve done five interviews for Minutes Before Sunset, and I’ve added them to my Extra’s Page: If you want to interview me, please don’t hesitate to send an email to ShannonAThompson@aol.com
    1. Michael Fedison (March 11, 2013)
    2. Tim Flanagan (March 13, 2013)
    3. Dan Pantagram (April 16, 2013).
    4. Sezoni on Twitter’s #WritersKaboodle (April 18, 2013)
    5. The Magill Review (April 19, 2013)
  • Create Extras: This allows readers to interact with your work. I’ve talked about this before, so if you’re looking for ideas, visit my Extra’s Page. I also have 2 other extras coming this Wednesday !
  • Exchange Reviews: There are many authors like yourself that are wanting more reviews and buys. I’d suggest reviewing others’ works anyways, but if you don’t have a lot of time, I could understand why asking for them to exchange reviews is good. Try it out and see where you go from there.

I know today’s post was tedious, but if you have any questions or want further elaboration, comment below, and I will surely get back to you!

April 24: One Week To Go: Sneak Peek Chapter

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