he following list is an excellent place to start, whether you’re jumpstarting your writing career, or whether you’ve been writing for years and need to scrape off some rust. If, by the end of the year, you can cross the following habits of successful authors off your checklist, you’ll be a force to reckon with in the literary world!
ost writers are trained to think in terms of putting in 40 hours a week and taking home a paycheck. But to succeed as a freelance copywriter, you must make a shift from the paycheck mentality to the professional mentality.
Chapter breaks are do-or-die territory for novelists. You may be spinning a grand ol’ tale, full of fascinating characters, but if your chapter endings leave readers no reason to turn the page to find out what happens next, all your hard work on the other aspects of your story will be wasted.
Great scenes ‘play’ – they seem to be effortlessly compelling, engaging the reader and involving him on the journey. So what’s the difference between a scene that plays and one that feels flat?
Scenes that are designed to purely reveal exposition or character, or that consist of ‘on-the-nose’ dialogue are often dull. Scenes that evoke emotion, contain conflict and stakes, change the dynamic, allow audiences to gain insight, and push the story forward are the scenes that make a story work.
Follow the link for six ways to ensure all your scenes ‘play’:
The key to successful writing – whether it’s a school essay, business proposal, book manuscript, feature article, or blog post (phew!) – is using clear and effective words and sentences. Here are several quick tips for better writing, which will make even the dullest subjects more interesting for readers (and writers!).
One of the hardest things for me to do as a writer is to turn off my inner editor and just write. I’m getting better about actually allowing myself to get the words onto the page. That said, I really enjoy revisions. Whether it’s fine-tuning and delicately tweaking web copy or slashing extraneous paragraphs in an essay, I find revising to be fulfilling.
Music is arguably the purest art form. It’s a breathing of the soul, a perfect embodiment of emotion, a story without words. For the most part, we lowly writers can barely hope to tell as complete a story in 300 pages as can be found in almost any collection of musical notes. If you’re a composer or a musician, God bless you. You’re sharing a little bit of magic in everything you do. If, on the other hand, you’re like me and your only musical accomplishment is playing the radio, your best hope of sharing some of music’s clarity and emotional depth is to tap into it as a springboard for your writing.
In humor writing, the first person that has to think something is funny is you. If you don’t think what you’ve written is funny, probably no one else will either. Still, that’s no guarantee others will enjoy your comedy because not everyone shares your sense of humor. We’re all unique when it comes to comedy. We laugh at different forms of humor. Some like clever jokes, others visual slapstick comedy, and others dry wit. That’s the hardest thing about writing funny humor and comedy. Creating comedy that is universally funny and appeals to a large audience is challenging.
Whether you write short stories, poems or feature articles, you probably have a few ideas that never quite made it into print (or pixels, if you write for the web). Here are some ideas on dusting them off and breathing new life into old ideas.
Copywriting is a lot like taking a road trip. Along the way, you have to make choices about which direction you will go. Turn this way, and you end up one place. Turn that way, and you end up in another. There are an infinite number of paths you might take, but it’s nice to know a few standard, well-worn paths that improve your odds of getting to where you want to go. Here are 7 ways to structure your ad copy that provide a “road map” for your copy. Each is proven and gives you great creative flexibility.
Oh, Pride and Prejudice. It’s one of the most loved stories of all time, spawning hundreds of knock-offs and fueling romantic dreams of women everywhere. Whether you love it or find it snooze-inducing, Jane Austen’s host of comedic characters just might hold some insight into the writing life–insight from which we can all stand to learn. Have you stopped to consider what each of the following characters might tell you about writing?
In a prior post, I wrote about challenging myself to do my very best work for my clients. Every time. Before I turn in a draft, I ask myself if I’ve done my best or if I need to invest more time. Sometimes that challenge isn’t about pushing myself to excel, it’s about getting started.
Several of my recent projects have been writing vertical marketing e-mail campaigns and corresponding web landing pages. The jobs are challenging: writing creative, snappy copy for typically “dry” topics like manufacturing (chemicals, food & beverage, high tech) and services (banking and insurance). But, once I’ve reviewed the background materials and need to get type on the page, it can be a struggle to begin writing.
Lies. We might not like to admit it, but we’re all guilty of occasionally (or perhaps even frequently) lying to others and ourselves.
It could be withholding complete truth, glossing over little details, exaggerating, or simply being in denial. Whatever the case, there are plenty of times in life when we’re not honest with ourselves. For some reason, we writers tend to be very good at telling ourselves lies.
Are you guilty of convincing yourself of these misconceptions and half-truths?
Most of us believe in the Writing Block, just as we believe in the Santa Claus, or the Tooth Fairy. I have always believed that writing block is nothing but the writer getting lazy. It can’t, however, be denied that most of us, at one point of time or another, go through phases where writing anything becomes difficult – almost impossible.
Many successful writers use their email signatures to promote their books or blog links – but that can get a little ho-hum. Here are a few creative ways to add pizzazz to your email signature to increase book sales and blog traffic – whether you’re an aspiring author or a busy blogger (or both!).
A website is a reflection of the person who created it.
When you see a disorganized site, you can infer that the owner is disorganized. When you see a site that is loaded with useful, relevant, information, you can infer that the owner is concerned about the needs of clients.
Do you struggle to find ideas to blog about? Don’t worry – it does get easier over time, especially if you learn certain “tricks of the trade.” With these tips, you’ll have more ideas than time to write about them…99.2% guaranteed!
I’ve been freelancing full-time for three years and blogging for two; my five favorite ways to find ideas for both articles and blog posts are…
Creating the full-fledged plot for a novel can be a difficult process.
There are many elements you need to consider before you can be assured of its strength and readability. Maybe you have some great ideas, but you’re having trouble working them into the correct story structure.
An easy way to know you’re on the right track is simply to get sneaky: Steal someone else’s ideas.