Tips On Writing A Book For The First Time – Beginner’s Advice

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I’m Mette Ivy Harrison. I’m the best-selling author of the Bishop’s Wife series and I’m gonna be sharing my five best tips of how to write a novel. Tip number one is you need to have an interesting character who needs or want something desperately. This is so that you can have a character who is propelling the plot forward. Passive characters are not super interesting. They need to do something. You want to have a character who’s not just reacting to events but rather is causing events to happen and interacting with other characters in the world that they’re in. Tip number two is that you need to have an interesting world for your interesting character to be in. You can have a fantasy world. You can have a science-fiction world or it can be a contemporary world, but it needs to have a kind of set of rules that you as the author know but you gradually reveal as the character interacts with the world. If you have a contemporary world, you need to make sure that the world is different then that regular world that your readers are used to. The character then has to decide whether they’re gonna follow the rules or not follow the rules. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Vht1BykH-EVideo can’t be loaded: How to Write a Novel: Top 5 Tips (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Vht1BykH-E) Youtube Channel Tip number three is that you need to have a limited time frame in which the events happen. While you can write books that have 20 years over which the books take place, I highly recommend against doing that because it takes away the urgency of the events happening. Your readers won’t feel like they need desperately to pick up the book and find out what happens next, so I recommend often choosing like a 24 to 48 hour period maybe a week, maybe even a month but short time frame. You want to choose the best frame of time in which these things can happen the most, where all the most exciting things happen. Think about Star Wars. You think about George Lucas choosing what part of Star Wars he wanted to tell first. He told the story of Luke Skywalker first because that was a very compressed time frame. Some of the other stories take place over lots of different worlds and lots of different characters. It’s harder to get into the series, […]

Online Script Writing Courses – Are They Any Good?

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Whenever I look for any kind of product online, and digital products in particular, I always look for a full refund Guarantee. It just makes so much sense to hedge your bet, knowing that you’ll get re-imbursed if it doesn’t work out for you. An online script writing course is not exception, and of course e-learning platforms like Udemy offer such a refund for all courses, although it has to be said that not all courses are of the highest quality. When I came across an advertisement for a course entitled ‘Movie In A Month’ presented by James Lamberg, I had to go back and read the sales copy again. Did it really guarantee that I would sell my movie script after taking the course? Well, yes it did! This is the best guarantee I’ve ever seen. Basically, James teaches how to write a screenplay including all the elements that producers are crying out for, with guidelines for submission – but that’s not all. He also provides a current contact list for agents and buyers looking for scripts that are ready to go. Here’s the guarantee: “If you don’t sell your movie script within 12 months of purchasing the course, simply return the DVD and I will refund the purchase price 100% without questions.” It’s well-known within the film industry that over 99 percent of spec script submissions are rejected before they pass through the first reader. This person is often an intern learning the trade, and they have a simple set of guidelines to follow before they let a submission through. It’s very rare for a script itself to be submitted – those days are long-gone. The procedure for movie script submission involves writing a pitch or query letter, crafted to present the important feature of the movie. The creation of this letter is quite a job in itself. Writer’s often find this the most difficult part, much harder than writing the script. Of course, this is covered in Lamberg’s course. Unless the letter describes the movie in the right way and in the right tone, your script will never be read. Scripts that simply aren’t ready are a big turn-off for producers at all levels. This is one of the biggest failings of new screenwriters – scripts are submitted too early. The first draft, even though you might love it, is never as good as it good be. […]

Tips For Writing A Book For Beginners – The Essentials

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Hi, it’s Peter here again from Writer’s Life and coming up today – essential book writing tips for beginner writers. If you’ve never even come close to attempting to write a book before, even the idea of doing so can seem utterly overwhelming. It may be that you have some writing experience, have written some sorts of pieces for pleasure now and again, or have just been struck with a brilliant idea for a book or an urge to do it, but have no writing experience at all. Whatever stage you are at and how ever used to writing you are, actually making that move to start writing a novel is a huge commitment and often people can be at a loss not knowing where to start. However, writing a novel, though hard work, doesn’t have to be an overwhelmingly complicated process. Follow these straightforward tips and not only will you find yourself clear on how to get started but also armed with the know how to finish it too. Here are some essential book writing tips for beginner writers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ufKpQuPVLEVideo can’t be loaded: Essential Book Writing Tips for Beginners – WritersLife.org (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ufKpQuPVLE) First, what is your book about? Our books need to be about something. What’s yours about?Have a clear idea of your story, who your characters are, what’s going to happen in your book before you begin. Just a single idea won’t get you very far, so you need to sit down and work out the details before you start writing. If you don’t you might find your great idea doesn’t go anywhere. Next, writing the chapter outlines. Once you have a clear idea of your story, write chapter outlines to give yourself a firm idea of what you are going to write. Chapter outlines will provide you with the confidence to know that your story has enough meat to turn it into a book. Next, create deadlines. You need to set yourself realistic and achievable deadlines for writing your book. Break them down. It’s a manageable bite-size choice, to help make them feel less impossible. Figure out a rough workout total for your book. Sixty to eighty thousand words is about right for a first fiction novel, and then set a weekly word count goal that you know you can stick to. Next, create a writing schedule. Once you know your deadlines, create a writing schedule that […]

What Is The Setting Of A Book – How Important Is It?

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Plants everywhere will die, and the animals that depend on them will starve, and the animals that eat those will starve.   Winter will come early, and hard, and it will last a long, long time. It will end, of course, like every winter does, and then the world will return to its old self. Eventually.   The people of the Stillness live in a perpetual state of disaster preparedness. They’ve built walls and dug wells and put away food, and they can easily last five, ten, even twenty-five years in a world without sun.   Eventually, meaning in this case in a few thousand years. Look, the ash clouds are spreading already. https://youtu.be/evNccOFk760Video can’t be loaded: The Importance of Setting in Storytelling (https://youtu.be/evNccOFk760) Audio Only: Diane Callahan Youtube Channel This is from the prologue of The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin, which won the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2016. In this universe, the planet undergoes apocalyptic seasons every few centuries and the sky is dotted with mysterious obelisks, “massive crystalline shards that hover amid the clouds, rotating slowly and drifting along incomprehensible flight paths.” Orogenes, people with the power to move the earth, are persecuted in this world. You can see how all the elements of the story connect back to one key feature: setting. We have the backdrop: a world that faces constant earthquakes. From that springs the plot, of a society trying to survive environmental catastrophe. Then we have main characters that face discrimination because of their unique ability to control these earthquakes. A well-chosen setting adds to the story in some way. Let’s explore how various authors, in both genre and realistic fiction, have enhanced their work by emphasizing the characters’ larger surroundings. We’ll examine setting in terms of survival stories, time period, different cultures, common tropes, and characterization. Like in The Fifth Season, many survival stories feature settings integral to the plot, with the natural environment serving as an antagonist. In The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder, harsh blizzards in Dakota Territory cut off a town from food and supplies, and the characters must save their family from starvation. Writing survival stories like this can be exciting because epidemics and natural disasters immediately put the characters in danger. The setting throws people out of their comfort zones and strips humanity down to its core qualities. This type of narrative conflict is often […]

Short Story Structure & Planning

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Once upon a time there was a …. a … yeah! So you have to write a short story but you don’t know what to do, where do you start. Well, the simplest place to start for a short story would be understanding its structure. Think of it as something a little bit like this. From start to end, you’re always rising until you come to your conclusion. The way your short story should start is with your exposition. This is when you’re introducing your story. Then your rising action. As the tension rises, so does your action, until you reach your climax, which is when all your action comes to a head. Then your action starts to fall and this is called falling action, which culminates in your resolution. Now this is a very simple way of thinking of how your story should be structured but what exactly do these entail? Do you know let’s start with the exposition. This is basically your: who what when where why So who is your character? What is happening? When is this happening? Where is it happening, and why is this happening? Now why should the reader want to start reading about this character’s life story. Then we come to the conflict. Now this is a problem, more than likely a problem that your character has to somehow solve, but how does he solve it. This is your rising action as play. As your story rises in tension, so does your character start to solve his conflict, and then the tension comes to a head in your climax. Your climax is the highest point of your piece, as well as the turning point for your character. This is when your character action starts to fall. For your character, everything starts to wrap up and we start to understand what has been happening this whole time. How to Structure a Short Story https://youtu.be/n2U68shUsM8Video can’t be loaded: How to Structure a Short Story (https://youtu.be/n2U68shUsM8) Video Transcript: (cont’d) As the action starts to fall this, does not mean the tension drops. It just means the action is wrapping up. So as the action starts to fall we reach the resolution, and the resolution is the conclusion to the whole story. It’s not necessarily happily-ever-after but it comes pretty close, like in a fairy tale where the princess gets the prince or Prince gets the princess. […]

How To Sell A Script To Hollywood – Producer’s Perspective

How to sell a Script to Hollywood

Let’s cut to the chase – as long as movies are made, producers will need fresh original stories. You’ve got an idea for a movie. In this video I’m going to explain exactly what you need to do to sell it. Since we rarely ever see the screenwriter, or read the scripts of the movies we watch, there tends to be this unnecessary mystery surrounding that aspect of the film industry. Where movie ideas come from, or how screenplays are chosen, or how to get your idea through the door and it’s led to a lot of confusion and misunderstanding about what producers actually need and why amateurs and dreamers tend to think of it a little bit like a lottery. If I could just get my idea into James Cameron’s hands, he’d love me and shower me with instant fame and fortune, but long-term, struggling writers tend to think of it a little bit the same way. If I could only master the story formula, or find that tip, or secret trick that’ll swing the doors open and land me an agent and ignite my magical screenwriting career. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJxS4p8ZzZcVideo can’t be loaded: How to Grab a Producer’s Attention in 15 Seconds — Episode #2 of The Producer’s Perspective (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJxS4p8ZzZc) Well, to turn that dream into a reality let’s pull back the curtain and see how this really works. Selling your movie idea ultimately involves two basic steps. Number one – turn your idea into a production ready screenplay. Number two – get that screenplay into the hands of its ideal producer. Now, that may sound terribly obvious, but in truth it’s really not. Look closely at those words. It’s not just a screenplay, it’s a ‘production ready’ screenplay and it’s not just a producer it’s your project ‘ideal producer’. See, our goal ultimately is to make a movie and movies aren’t just an idea. They’re a carefully crafted story, rich and complex, and compelling enough to engage an audience’s imagination for about two hours. Since we can’t shoot an idea, someone has to turn that idea into a screenplay that costs time and money. Remember – the screenplay is not our ultimate goal. Screenplays only exist to be turned into a film. It’s not just a story, it’s also the blueprint for the production process, a very pragmatic working document that will guide and be used by a whole […]

How To Write A Story With Dialogue The Right Way

Welcome back to this study on fiction. I’m Kenny noble, an instructor here at Indiana Bible College and today we’re going to be looking at the elements of dialogue. We’ll be looking at some of the important features of dialogue and hopefully give you some pointers to improve your dialogue. First, let me say that contrary to what many think, dialogue and fiction is not the way people talk. Rather, dialogue is the way that we want to think that people talk. I’ve taken my pen and paper and set down in a restaurant, in a coffee shop and listen to people talk and if I put that conversation exactly the way it happened it would be very dull and boring. There wouldn’t be much impact to it, so dialogue is not really the way people talk. It’s the way we want to think people talk. Dialogue and fiction is much more condensed. It’s much more to the point and actually dialogue must accomplish several things at one time. Each word must carry it’s full load. Each word must do two or three things and by that I mean in dialogue, you want to communicate the message that the character is saying, but also you want to communicate their mood. https://youtu.be/aUAD-7zR3q8Video can’t be loaded: Dialogue for Your Fiction Story (https://youtu.be/aUAD-7zR3q8) You want to sometimes imply things and you always want to move the story forward toward the end. First, let’s get the mechanics of dialogue out of the way. It’s pretty simple and straightforward but it does take some particular attention. Some of the problems students have are the comma and the period. Notice that the comma always goes before the end quotation mark. OIf course, all of your dialogue will be enclosed with quotation marks. If there’s a period at the end of the sentence, then the period will go inside the closing quote. If there’s a comma at the end the comma will go inside the closing quote. Many times dialogue will have an attribution. Attribution is the ‘he said’, ‘she said’ that goes at the end of the sentence and notice how it’s done in this example. There’s a comma, a closing quote the words ‘he said’ or ‘she said’, and then a period. So in that case the period goes at the end. If there’s a question mark, there’ll be a closing quote afterwards but notice […]

How To Start Writing A Book For Beginners – Ideas For Writing A Book

the snowflake method to start writing a novel

Hello and welcome back to my channel. If you don’t know who I am, I’m Britt Poe. I am an author and a writing a business coach for creative writers and authors alike. Today I’m gonna be talking about how to outline your novel using my absolute favorite method, the snowflake method. So before I get into the how-to, I wanted to share a little bit of background. In the writing world there are two sort of sides when it comes to planning a novel. There are plotters, the ones who plan everything and set them out before they start writing, and then there are Pantsers, those who sort of just take their idea and go with it with really no structured plan on where they’re going. In my writing practice, I’ve literally been all over the board with my writing and my planning techniques. I’ve tried so hard just to find something that really clicked with my creative process and ended up really uninspired with a lot of different methods to outlining, which then left my manuscript suffering because I was just uninspired and an uninspired writer is probably not the best kind of writer. So when I heard about the snowflake method, I decided to give it a go and I am just loving the amazingness of the snowflake method. It works so well with my finger in my creative process and it really helps me get an outline down and completed, so that I can actually start writing that first draft. So what is the snowflake method? The snowflake method is an approach to writing developed by a guy named Randy Inger Mason. I will link to his website below where he really goes into tons of detail about the snowflake method himself but in all this method is composed of ten steps. The goal is to have an extensive outline filled with everything that you need for your plot and for your characters in order to write your novel. Something about the way that this method is structured just really jives with me and my process. So now I’m gonna tell you how you guys can do it yourself. Step one of the ten steps of the snowflake method is to write a one sentence summary of your novel. This is the hardest part for me because something about having to fit all of the ideas […]

Script Writing Course – Screenwriting Classes

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After successfully writing, editing and publishing a novel, I decided to delve more into the structure and process of movie script writing. Like many people, Youtube was my first stop, before considering signing up to a script writing course. Although there are some gems (like the video embedded below), it has to be said that the 80-20 rules comes into full force here, except that it’s more like the 90-10 rule. Basically, this means that about 90% of the free screenplay writing tips you find are below average. They simply regurgitate the rules presented y such luminaries as Michael Hauge, Syd Field and Blake Snyder. Oh, these rules are solid for sure, but if we really want to re-read them, we’d simply buy the original books. There is no getting away from the 3 act structure for movies, novels, plays or any medium that tells a story. As authors, we create a character that the audience wants to follow, place him or her in a setting that complements the story, and place obstacles in their path to success. Aristotle laid it out and we have honed the process to perfection. So if the rules of movie scrip writing are available everywhere, exactly what are we looking at in a script writing course? The creation of self-editing for novels made it possible for millions of people to make their novels public, which ultimately means that the vast majority are below par. A similar thing has happened in the screenplay writing business. Due to the appearance of script writing software and other free resources, film agents and producers are inundated with a mountain of spec scripts every day. I have it on good authority that the pile of scripts is first vetted by an assistant, so how do they proceed? The script is consigned to the trash bin if: it isn’t bound in the right format the title shows ‘it’s been done before’ font format isn’t standard title page doesn’t have the right information screenplay format doesn’t conform to the industry standards And this is before the man that matters actually gets to read your brilliant script! There’s more to movie scripts than writing a great story – much more. The ideal course would cover the whole process, from conception to submission and tell you who to send it to and show you how to present so that it gets noticed and read. After […]

I Want To Write A Novel – Where Do I Start?

I want to write a novel where do I start tips

It’s been said that everyone has a novel inside them, and for most people, it should stay there! I think that’s a bit harsh. My own opinion is that you should go for it, whatever ‘it’ is. If you firmly affirm to yourself ‘I want to write a novel’, where do you start? Let me say, right from the beginning, that anyone can do anything they set their mind to, but it’s much more satisfying if you know how to go about it. When it’s a novel or any kind of book you’re considering writing, you should know that it’s a big undertaking and needs planning. More than planning, actually. Jacqueline Eubanks was an award-winning when she was 12 years old, or thereabouts! In the video below, the first of a series, she describes the process she goes through when writing a novel. It’s interesting for one so young that said emphasises the need for careful research before putting pen to paper. Want To Write A Novel? Don’t Know Where To Start? Read on … Video Transcript: Hey guys. My name is Jacqueline Eubanks and I am the award-winning, best-selling author of the Last Summer series, which became an award winner and bestseller when I was in high school. I wrote the very first graph of the first novel, I published when I was 12, so I am now documenting my whole step by step process from like my first idea, to plot diagram, to first draft, to publication and I’m just gonna document the whole thing in these like vlogs. So I want to teach you how I’ve done it two times before and been really successful and if I can do this in middle school, in high school, honestly anybody can. So I’m gonna teach you my step by step way of doing this. To start off I just wanted to talk about the three things that you need to do before starting your novel. Now really there’s four main ones that I’ve done that I think are really critical but we’re gonna start with just three for this video. So the first thing is, it’s time to go back to basics and hand write your first draft of your story. Now here’s where I’m coming from – it’s way easier to write a first draft on the computer in the sense that it makes it a little […]