Tips For Writers
A story follows what a character wants, what she’ll do to get it, and what costs she’ll have to pay on the way. The journey of your character is paramount, as your readers will track what she learns, the decisions she makes, and how her life changes as a result. This is the essence of myth – which is a journey leading to oneself. Myth relates to all stories, not just fantasy. You can use a physical journey as the basis for this, even if it’s only from one side of a city to another. A good example of a journey is in ‘Stand By Me’, when four boys walk on an adventure to see a dead body. Along the way, they discover a lot about themselves.
Flow is one of the most important elements of a good story. Ensure ease of reading for your audience, so that they’re not jarred by complex language or names that are difficult to pronounce. They’ll just substitute gibberish instead, and the human eye singles out difficult words. While you believe you’re being clever, most likely, your readers will find it a turn off.
Another key element is pace. A slow plod will cause the reader’s interest to decline, although it allows for greater detail. A hectic pace will take the reader on an adrenaline saturated rollercoaster ride, although it will exclude detail. This pace is perfect for suspense, whereas a slower pace is more appropriate for literary fiction, as it allows character development and analysis. Most genres strike a balance between the two.
My third key element is emotion. This is what really drives your story, not your flawless prose or your technical genius. Readers must feel what is happening to your characters, be joyful in their successes and tearful in their heartache. They must travel the journey by your character’s side, and care what happens to them. Make your reader feel excitement, tears, triumph, disgust, annoyance, and laughter.
Some authors give strict technical advice about the use of adverbs, semi-colons and prologues, to name a few. Excellent flow, pace, and emotion trumps technical factors, because readers don’t pick up a book to check out how many adverbs an author used. They read to be transported to another world. Perfect technicalities cannot mask a lame and pointless story. Many of Amazon’s best sellers are not works of technical genius: they merely take the fantasies of readers, translate them into words using the authors’ hearts and souls, and sell them back to the world.
What are the ingredients of a good story? Make a wish list of everything you’d like to see in a book or film, what interests you passionately, what entertains you, and the themes that capture your imagination. Choose some key elements that naturally intersect, and build your vision from there.
Don’t neglect the depth of your story world. It’s not necessary to describe everything down to the trees and the soil, but you should seek to capture an evocative snapshot of your world. Sometimes a bold metaphor can perform this job more effectively than a whole paragraph of description.
Play around with ‘what if’ scenarios. If it can happen, then let it.
When developing your lead character, remember, he/she must drive the action. This character doesn’t have to be instantly likeable or perfect. Sometimes, the most fascinating characters are those who are challenging, complex, and make mistakes, just like us
Don’t develop one character and neglect the dimensionality of your supporting cast. Where relevant to the story, allow them to express themselves, without sidetracking. See all your characters together as part of an interconnected web, who interact, and affect each other’s emotions and decisions.
Seven Point Eight: The Second Chronicle
Genre: Science Fiction, Science Fiction Adventure
‘The Truth Will Set You Free’
Written in the style of a TV series, Seven Point Eight draws together quantum physics, psychic powers, alternate dimensions, time travel, past lives, ancient wisdom, and conspiracy in a soap opera for the soul.
It’s the ideal read for lovers of sci-fi, contemporary fantasy, the paranormal, metaphysics, ‘Lost’, ‘Fringe’, ‘Touch’, and Dan Brown books.
Seven Point Eight: The Second Chronicle
‘What Goes Around, Comes Around’
In the second instalment of the five part Seven Point Eight series, the legacy of the OOBE project weighs heavily on the conscience of Dr. Paul Eldridge. Tahra Mamoun needs to muster all her courage and venture back into the alternate dimensions of reality. Through a series of challenging, surreal and frightening experiences, she comes to comprehend the destructive power she can yield and must face her own demons in the process.
Paul continues his quest to understand the ancient knowledge of the cosmos, while dark forces seek to hijack his research to further a secret agenda. With their lives in jeopardy, Paul and Tahra confront their enemies against an international backdrop featuring the pyramids of Giza and the peaks of Switzerland.
Meanwhile, Sam and Ava endeavour to uncover their past, even though it may irrevocably change their lives.
In a tale of courage and tragedy, love and betrayal, their lives are interwoven around the demons of one man, Max Richardson, who’ll stop at nothing to achieve his objectives.
The Second Chronicle on Smashwords, or download a free sample:
You can also add this book on Goodreads:
Seven Point Eight: The First Chronicle
‘Out of Body to Out of Universe’
‘Seven Point Eight: The First Chronicle’ lays the groundwork, and sweeps through the 40s, 50s and 60s to modern day in a wild nostalgic, scientific, paranormal ride.
It’s a twist of sci-fi confusion that asks some interesting questions. If you had special abilities to travel out of body, what would you do with them? Where would you go? What would secret agencies do with these abilities? And how far could you go?
You can still grab this first book in the series at a special promotional price of 99 cents, through Amazon.
For a limited time, you can download the first book for FREE through this Smashwords link:
Marie Harbon has worked in both the retail and fitness industry. She has a degree in sport and fitness, and taught group exercise for several years, delivering aerobics and Pilates. For two years, she delivered BTEC sport courses and has also instructed dance and sport with children.
Marie is a member of Nottingham Writers Studio, Her future plans include not only completing the ‘Seven Point Eight’ series, but involve writing YA, children’s and adult books, short stories, novellas and scripts.
Aside from writing, Marie is a self-confessed fabric geek and purveyor of beautiful, often ostentatious bags, bustiers and clothing. She lives in the town of Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, which is in England.
Eternal Island (Book 1 in the Eternal Series)
K. S. Haigwood & Ella Medler
A place where vampires rule, witches play, danger lurks and dreams really do come true.
Human girl Ariana Lochalan finds herself transported from the relative calm of her ‘Nowhere, Arkansas’ life into a diametrically opposite existence when she discovers she is a powerful witch and meant to wed High Vampire of Eternal Island, Abe Cambridge. Despite first-sight magnetism, the two protagonists are being pushed apart, obstacles tripping them at every step, outside forces interfering and threatening their peace, and ultimately their lives.
Would courage, resilience and love be enough to bring together two soul mates?
How much would you sacrifice to save the one who owns your heart?
Blood is Heavier
Nick Hunter used to be a contract killer. Now he’s cut all links to his former lifestyle and can at last relax and live a normal life. He settles down to married life. He has a son. He adores his little family. Unbeknown to him, shadows from his past step forward to shatter his short-lived peace. His wife is dead, his four-year old son kidnapped and it looks like someone is trying to frame him for murder. Under pressure, broken, is there anything Nick wouldn’t do to rescue his son? Would he kill the villains, despite the promise to himself to stop his life of crime? Would he kill innocents? Would he hurt the people he loves most in his need to protect his son? A fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat read that will keep you turning the pages to the very end.
She never believed. Not in ghosts, not in friendship, and especially not in love.
When Melodie Gibson moves half way around the world to upstate New York, her entire world turns upside down. Living in a quirky castle turned bed and breakfast, she finds herself confronted with someone watching her every move. That someone is Joseph, who captivates Melodie’s heart, fulfilling her dreams and drawing her into his world—a world that is beautiful, magical… and treacherous. It will take all the courage Melodie has to face those who will stop at nothing to rip them apart.
From the pages of a Victorian gothic novel transplanted into modern times, The Transient is the first in The Castle Trilogy, a powerful fantasy romance series for teens.
Beautiful, wild-child Nicole Tepper is hit by a car and left for dead. But when she wakes the next morning, Nicole finds herself in bed without a scratch. Perhaps she was more intoxicated than usual, as her mother is giving her the silent treatment and her friends are ignoring her as well.
Things take a turn for the weird when Nicole soon discovers she is actually hovering between life and death. Her body is lying in the forest while her spirit is searching for anyone who can hear her. Unfortunately the only person who can is Dale Finnigan, the guy she publicly humiliated with a sharp-tongued insult that has left him branded.
Desperate, Nicole has no choice but to haunt Dale and convince the freaked-out senior to help her. Will he find her body before it’s too late? Or will the guy who tried to kill her with his car, beat him there and finish her off before anyone finds out?
For over a hundred years the priests of Ran have been killing young wizards to take their power. When Lorit learns that he has the Wizard’s Power he becomes targeted for special attention by the Temple.
Lorit must learn magic in time to save the sister he infused with his own power to save her life. He must find a way to overcome their stolen magic without resorting to their tactics.
Together he and the Sorceress Chihon battle to make the land safe for magicians everywhere. Can they defeat the Temple or will they succumb to the plot that would turn them into the most powerful of their enemies?
Paradox: The Angels Are Here
Paradox Series: A story within a story — a world within a world.
A little girl trapped between the Ancient world and the new is forced to deal with tragedy and death.
When your destiny has been written in blood, and you are left with one burning question… Do Guardian Angels come from Heaven or Hell?
Paradox: Progeny of Innocence
Two Worlds. One Ancient… A World where powerful Beings from Ancient Civilizations still rule. A Realm Where Gods, Angels, Myths and Magic still exists.
And One New… Grace is not a little girl anymore! And as a teenager, Grace’s visions become more frequent, urgent, torturing her life further still. The answers she hopes to find in her visions only leave her asking more questions… Who is Juliette?
When the charismatic Damon Draco begins to take an interest in Grace, it doesn’t take long before Grace falls for his alluring charm. A charm she doesn’t quite understand.
However, when Riley Rivers turns up in Grace’s class one day, she starts to question the feelings she has for Damon.
When death comes knocking…and three of Grace’s school friends are found burned to death, and their parents die in a fatal car accident that same weekend, some start to wonder if it really was just a coincidence, or a contrived plan to wipe out an entire family?
And if so, why, and by whom? And more importantly, will evil strike again?
You can bet your soul on it!
Accountable to None
What if the unspeakable happened to you? Would you fantasize about seeking personal vengeance? How far would you go…and how much would you sacrifice to hold those responsible that believe they are accountable to none?
Welcome to the prestigious accounting firm of Winscott & Associates. Welcome to Audra Tanner’s personal hell. She had heard the rumors about her employer. The whispered secrets. But she had thrown herself into work to escape the pain of her miscarriage and demise of her marriage. Idealistic, she thought if she worked hard she would be rewarded. She thought wrong.
Savagely initiated into the brutal underbelly of the firm, Audra learns too late that the rumors are true. Now after five years of careful plotting, Audra is ready to push the wheels of justice in motion. Her goal of retribution has turned into an obsession and she will stop at nothing until everyone responsible pays. Will revenge set her free or is Audra’s quest for personal justice only beginning?
Joey isn’t a Super, at least not in same league as Superheroes like Inferno or Strong Man, or even Supervillians like Razor or The Puppet Master. His power “activates” cards, bringing the printed word to life. It’s a great power for a card shark, which fits perfectly into his unmotivated lifestyle. When his girlfriend gets kidnapped by The Puppet Master, however, Joey has to face a life-changing decision: run away from his responsibility, or become the unlikeliest of heroes.
Jan Jacob Mekes
Follow Edward, the ugliest and probably most haphazard king Struglend has ever had, and his herald Fred, as they go on a quest to restore order to the universe. Well, maybe not the universe, but at least the little piece of land they call home – Struglend. In their journey to remove the evil knight who has invaded the kingdom, they meet several hilarious characters.
Book of Curses
When teenage twins, Raine and Thomas Renning are pulled into the world within a book their whole lives are turned upside down. A prophecy, a war and a hell of a ride lie wait in the pages of Book of Curses.
Soul Sisters is an urban fantasy novel about African-American twin sisters Ani and Dana who have a rather unique secret: one sister is human while the other is a vampire.