Apr 18

3 Fiction Writing Mistakes to Avoid

Contributed by Suzanne Lieurance

A few mistakes in your fiction can often make the difference between a very good manuscript and a not-so-good one that is rejected by publishers.

Below are just three of the most common mistakes in fiction that I see day after day as a writing instructor and writing coach:

1) Overuse of participle phrases to begin a sentence.

A participle phrase usually begins with a word that ends in the letters “ing.”

There is nothing wrong with beginning a sentence with a participle phrase.

But when you do it too often, it begins to draw attention to itself and distract the reader from the action of the story.

Like this:

Reaching behind her, Mary grabbed her backpack and ran straight for the woods. Pushing branches and tangled vines out of her way, she was able to find the foot path. But a snake was stretched out across it. Turning around quickly and searching for another way through the forest, she suddenly heard someone call out her name.

Notice how clunky that sounds.

When you finish writing a story, go back over it and circle all the sentences that begin with a participle phrase.

If you have several of these phrases on each and every page, change most of them.

Like this:

Mary reached behind her and grabbed her backpack, then she ran straight for the woods. She pushed branches and tangled vines out of her way until she was able to find the foot path. But a snake was stretched out across it, so she turned quickly and searched for another way through the forest. Suddenly, she heard someone call out her name.

2) Dislocating or projecting body parts.

Yes, many writers actually do this in their stories.

The most common example of this is when characters’ eyes leave their bodies.

Here’s what I mean:

I was angry at my brother. I shot my eyes across the room at him and gave him a dirty look.

Yikes!

Was the poor brother left holding those eyeballs, or were they just stuck on the front of his shirt or something?

3) Dialogue that is punctuated incorrectly.

The most common example is when characters laugh words.

They simply can’t do this.

Try it yourself.

Can you laugh and speak at the same time?

Not really.

Yet, when you use a comma to separate the dialogue tag from the dialogue itself, you are indicating the words were laughed.

Here’s an example:

“I’d never try that in a million years,” laughed Denise.

To avoid this mistake, simply use a period after the dialogue, creating two separate sentences.

Like this:

“I’d never try that in a million years.” Denise laughed.

Each of these mistakes is easy to correct.

But now that you’re aware of them they should be easy to avoid in the first place!

Try it!

Suzanne Lieurance is a freelance writer, author, and writing coach.

For more writing tips and resources for writers, visit writebythesea.com, and don’t forget to get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge.

This article was first published at: https://www.writersonthemove.com/2020/02/3-mistakes-to-avoid-when-writing-fiction.html

Children's ghostwriter

Whether you need help with ghostwriting or rewriting, or coaching, let me take a look at your children’s story. Just send me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com. Please put “Children’s Writing” in the Subject box. Or, give me a call at 347—834—6700

Let’s get your idea off the launch pad or your outline into a publishable story today!

Or, if you’d rather give it a shot and do-it-yourself, check out my book, HOW TO WRITE A CHILDREN’S FICTION BOOK.

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Feb 14

Believe in Yourself as a Writer

Contributed by Suzanne Lieurance

Are you struggling with a writing project that seems overwhelming?

All writers go through this at one time or another.

Usually it means that YOU—the writer—are not quite convinced you can pull off this particular book, article, novel, or whatever the project may be.

In fact, you probably spend precious energy second-guessing yourself thinking, What in the world did I get myself into this time?

But here’s the rub.

The project will only start to fall into place once YOU are convinced you can complete it.

So take a deep breath and relax.

Figure out why you’re struggling with this project and write down the problem(s).

For example—Do you have a too-tight deadline?

Does the project require intensive research and you’re overwhelmed with all the facts and figures you’ll need?

Are you spinning your wheels just trying to figure out how to get started?

Once you’ve figured out the real problems behind your struggle, take some steps to solve them.

For example, if you’re on a too-tight deadline, contact your editor right away and ask for more time.

Your editor wants quality work, and if you contact her now, rather than at the last minute, more than likely she won’t be upset about giving you more time.

Editors usually allow a little wiggle room for all projects anyway.

If your project requires intensive research, make a list of the source materials and experts you wish to use for this project.

Then, BEFORE you contact the experts, do enough research about the topic to develop a structure for the book or article you are trying to write.

You’ll have to do enough research to develop the topic headings, or chapter titles for your work.

But, once you’ve done that, THEN contact the experts with questions that relate to each of your topic or chapter titles.

That way, you’ll get quotes that relate closely to the material you already have for the project instead of lots of other material and quotes that will be difficult to work into your chapters or subtopics.

If you’re stuck at a point in your novel and you just can’t get your characters to move the story along, you probably don’t know the characters well enough and you’re trying to get them to do something they don’t want to do—or wouldn’t do if they were actual people.

Take one or two of the main characters and ask them some questions (yeah, this sounds crazy to people who aren’t writers, but I know YOU know what I mean).

Find out more about their backgrounds and you’ll learn more about their passions, desires, and fears, which will translate into motives and actions that will come naturally for these characters—and will be easier for you to write.

You really CAN complete that writing project that seems overwhelming.

YOU just have to believe it first.

Try it!

Suzanne Lieurance is a fulltime freelance writer, writing coach, and the author of over 35 published books. She offers more tips and resources for writers at writebythesea.com.

For more tips, resources, and other helpful information about writing and the business of writing, get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge.

Children's ghostwriter

Whether you need help with ghostwriting or rewriting, or coaching, let me take a look at your children’s story. Just send me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com. Please put “Children’s Writing” in the Subject box. Or, give me a call at 347—834—6700

Let’s get your idea off the launch pad or your outline into a publishable story today!

Or, if you’d rather give it a shot and do-it-yourself, check out my book, HOW TO WRITE A CHILDREN’S FICTION BOOK.

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Oct 25

Talking Yourself Into Success or Out of It

I had a client who, after the book was almost complete, began to talk herself out of the project.

Keep in mind this had nothing to do with money – the project was already paid for. The client simply began second-guessing herself.

  • She wondered will there be a market for her story.
  • She wondered if young readers would be interested in the story.
  • She wondered if she was just wasting her time.

I was able to convince her that ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained.’ I told her that you just never know – her book could influence children. Even it a book influences one child, that’s one child you’ve reached.

Before this client, I don’t remember ever having a client try to talk herself out of possible success. But then I came across an email from the Morning Nudge by Suzanne Lieurance.

After reading it, I realized that many people talk themselves out of success, myself included.

For years I tried to make money writing. I tried a number of different arenas, including business writing, academic writing, health writing, and children’s writing. For a long while nothing seemed to click.

And, with the ‘feast or famine’ freelance writing business, it’s easy to get discouraged and feel like packing it in.

Fortunately, I kept plugging away. I didn’t talk myself out of success. I may have done other things to delay it, but now I have a successful children’s ghostwriting business and even have the need to hire subcontractors.

The point is, you never know when or where you’ll find success. You need to keep plugging away and stop talking yourself out of success.

In fact, do the opposite. Talk yourself into success!

Here’s some of what author and writing coach Lieurance says about it:

If you have trouble taking action to reach your goals, ask yourself this question, “Am I talking myself out of success?”

I see people do this all the time.

They say they want something, but in the next breath they start justifying why they can’t (or probably can’t) do, have, or be the very thing they want.

Sound familiar?

We all do this from time to time and most of the time we don’t even realize we’re doing it.

So, write this question on an index card and place it near your computer (or on your kitchen counter) so you can see it throughout the day—Am I talking myself out of success?

Then, if you hesitate to take action toward your goals today, look at this question.

It will help you realize the only thing keeping you from success is that you keep talking yourself out of it.

And once you realize you’re doing this, you can stop doing it.

To get your own daily nudge, subscribe to Suzanne Lieurance’s Morning Nudge!

Children's ghostwriter

Whether you need help with ghostwriting or rewriting, let me take a look at your children’s story. Just send me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com. Please put “Children’s Writing” in the Subject box. Or, give me a call at 347—834—6700

Let’s get your idea off the launch pad or your outline into a publishable story today!

Or, if you’d rather give it a shot and do-it-yourself, check out my book, HOW TO WRITE A CHILDREN’S FICTION BOOK.

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Jul 05

Get Clear about Your Ultimate Writing Goals

writing success

Contributed by Suzanne Lieurance

As a writer, it can take quite some time to come up with an ultimate career goal.

After months, even years, of writing and submitting, many writers decide the writer’s life is not quite the beautiful dream they thought it would be.

In fact, it’s really just a lot of hard work and, well, a lot of writing.

Other writers decide to stick with the writing, but they change focus along the way to the career of their dreams.

They suddenly “get” how they can narrow the focus of their writing, yet attract more readers, customers, and clients.

As they gain more publication credits, they branch out and search for more opportunities for public speaking, too.

The key to realizing your ultimate career goal is to get really, really clear as to just what that goal is.

After all, if you don’t know where you’re going, how can you possibly figure out how to get there?

Here are a few questions for reflection.

Use your Success Journal to write down these questions and leave a page or so for each of your answers.

  1. What is your ultimate career goal (what would your ideal writing career look like)?

Try to describe this in as much detail as possible.

Include what your writing schedule would look like.

How much would you be writing?

What would you be writing?

Where would you be writing?

How much money would you be earning each month from your writing?

Would you be doing any public speaking in addition to writing?

If so, where would you be speaking? Who would you be speaking to?

How much income would you earn each year through speaking?

  1. What would be the big advantages of reaching your ultimate career goal?

List as many advantages as you can think of. Money shouldn’t be the only advantage.

  1. What would be the disadvantages of reaching your ultimate career goal?

List as many disadvantages as you can think of – even fame and fortune have disadvantages.

  1. How do you FEEL when you think of the disadvantages of your ultimate career goal?

Are these feelings keeping you from really striving to reach your ultimate career goal?

If so, do you need to change your goal or simply learn to overcome any negative feelings?

  1. Take a look at all the actions on your marketing plan or to-do list.

Are these actions leading you to the ultimate writing career you’ve described in your answers to these questions?

Why or why not? Explain in detail.

Your answers to these questions should help you get clearer about your ultimate career goal.

With increased clarity, you should be able to create a more targeted marketing plan to move toward this goal.

Try it!

This post was first published at:
http://www.writersonthemove.com/2019/02/how-and-why-to-get-clear-about-your.html

Suzanne Lieurance lives and writes by the sea on Florida’s beautiful Treasure Coast. She also coaches writers.

For more tips and resources for writers visit www.writebythesea.com and get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge to receive a short email for writers every weekday morning.

Children's ghostwriter

Let me take a look at your notes, outline, or draft. I’m a working children’s ghostwriter and rewriter. I can turn your story into a book that you’ll be proud to be author of.

Shoot me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com (please put Children’s Ghostwriter in the Subject line). Or, you can give me a call at 834—347—6700

Let’s get your story in publishable shape today!

Or, if you’d rather give it a shot and do-it-yourself, check out my book, HOW TO WRITE A CHILDREN’S FICTION BOOK.

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Jun 07

Writers and Self-Doubt

Contributed by Suzanne Lieurance

Self doubt can creep into your psyche without you even suspecting it’s there until the first niggling thought makes itself clear.

This happens to writers all the time.

If you’re a writer, you must constantly be aware of your thoughts and how you’re reacting to them, so you can weed out thoughts of self-doubt before they grow and take over your creativity and destroy your goals.

Doubts can run wild in your mind, making you question your abilities about anything new or different.

If you’re prepared, you can recognize the doubts for the untrue limiting beliefs they are and let your knowledge and common sense get you through.

When you check in to reality, you’ll realize that the negative thoughts are occurring for various reasons.

For example, you could be lost in comparing yourself with other writers.

This may make you feel inadequate and doubt your ability to succeed.

Make a firm decision and stick to it.

When self doubt about what you’re trying to accomplish creeps into your thoughts, make a decision to either carry through with your goal or trash it and go on with something else you’re more certain of.

If you do decide to go on to something else, don’t think of it as a failure.

It was a learning experience that taught you a lesson and you aren’t wasting any more time on it.

If you decide to go through with the plan, take action immediately.

Making a fast decision may seem impulsive, but most likely the decision is based on intuition and the knowledge that you’ve prepared enough for the journey ahead.

You can always fine tune your plan as you progress.

At least you’re taking action toward your goals.

Replace negative self doubt with positive thoughts. Choose any method that works for you. Meditation, journaling, affirmations, listening to music or reading a good book or simply chatting with positive-minded friends may give you the boost you need to move on.

All of us find ourselves dealing with self doubt at some point in our writing careers.

But if you let self doubt get the best of you, by feeding into it and actually believing the untrue stories you’re telling yourself, it can destroy even the best of intentions for success.

Learn to recognize and weed out the crippling, negative thoughts and get on with achieving the goals you’ve set for yourself.

Begin by becoming aware of your thoughts – check in with them a few times a day.

You’ll soon be able to discern the “keeper” thoughts from the “discard” pile.

Try it!

This post was first published at:
Writing Success- Recognize and Weed Out Self Doubt

For more writing tips and resources delivered to your e-mailbox every weekday morning, get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge from Suzanne Lieurance, the Working Writer’s Coach.

Children's ghostwriter

Whether you need help with ghostwriting or rewriting, let me take a look at your children’s story. Just send me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com. Please put “Children’s Writing” in the Subject box. Or, give me a call at 347—834—6700

Let’s get your idea off the launch pad or your outline into a publishable story today!

Or, if you’d rather give it a shot and do-it-yourself, check out my book, HOW TO WRITE A CHILDREN’S FICTION BOOK.

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Dec 09

Authors – How to Handle Feedback

Authors and Feedback

Contributed by Suzanne Lieurance

We all will need to handle feedback at one time or another in our careers.

For the writer, this feedback is usually the critique of either an unpublished manuscript (from an editor or members of a critique group) or a published piece (a review, for example).

Feedback can be both positive and negative.

Some people are bad at giving feedback and some people are talented at doing it.

But, even if someone who is bad at it gives you feedback about a piece of your writing, you can learn to handle both positive and negative feedback appropriately.

Let’s go over some tips for handling both positive and negative feedback.

Let’s start with negative feedback.

Avoid Acting Defensive

One thing that sometimes happens when we’re given feedback is we become defensive when we hear something negative and we immediately want to defend ourselves and our work.

But when we do this, we usually turn off our ability to listen, which is not a good way to react.

If you get like this, take a step back and watch yourself getting the feedback from afar in your mind.

Focus only on what they’re saying, and don’t put your own feelings into it at all.

You can ask questions about how they think you can improve your work, but don’t argue with them about it.

After all, unless they’re your editor, you don’t need to take their advice to heart, but you can probably learn something from it if you can avoid being defensive.

Inform the person that you appreciate what they’re saying and you will consider their suggestions, and leave it at that.

Ask For Clarification

When someone is giving you negative feedback, take the time to hear what they’re saying, then repeat back to them what you thought they said to ensure you really understood.

Sometimes (especially if we have low self-esteem or are new to writing) we can over-interpret something as negative when it’s not.

Ask for understanding and take the time to let it sink in so you’re sure you really do get it.

Negative feedback should actually be constructive criticism as far as manuscripts go.

It shouldn’t be someone simply slamming your work.

Instead, they should be offering you feedback you can use to improve your work.

Sadly, though, many people—especially beginning writers in critique groups—find it difficult to offer constructive criticism (probably because they don’t that much about writing themselves), so they tear a manuscript to shreds.

If you’re in a critique group that operates like that, you might look for a different group with more experienced writers who know how to offer constructive criticism instead of just negative feedback.

Now, let’s talk a bit about handling positive feedback.

As much as handling negative feedback makes people squirm, so does positive feedback, and sometimes we react incorrectly to it.

There really is only one right way to handle positive feedback.

Say, “thank you very much.”

Saying thank you is an important way to handle positive feedback and will make the other person feel satisfied that you heard them.

If you react negatively to positive feedback, you could set yourself up to never receiving it even when you deserve it.

Don’t do that.

Say thank you.

Mean it.

Move on.

The truth is, you’ll get both negative and positive feedback any time you let someone read something you have written.

It’s important to put this feedback into perspective and not dwell on it either way.

For example, one day several years ago, I went online to amazon and found a bad review of one of my books.

The review was so bad, I felt terrible about the book.

But later that day, my editor called to tell me that the same book had just won an award.

Right then I realized that feedback, either positive or negative, is really only someone’s opinion.

And that both types of feedback can be learned from.

So just learn from the feedback you get, move on, and keep writing.

Try it!

For more tips and resources to help you become a better writer, get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge.

Suzanne Lieurance is the author of over 35 published books, a writing coach, and editor at writebythesea.com.

Children's ghostwriter

Let me take a look at your notes, outline, or draft. I’m a working children’s ghostwriter and rewriter/editor. I can turn your story into a book that you’ll be proud to be author of.

Shoot me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com (please put Children’s Ghostwriter in the Subject line). Or, you can give me a call at 834—347—6700

Let’s get your story in publishable shape today!

Or, if you’d rather give it a shot and do-it-yourself, check out my book, FICTION WRITING FOR CHILDREN.

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Nov 04

How to Write Better Endings to Your Stories

Writing Endings

Contributed by team member, Suzanne Lieurance

Many writers have trouble coming up with the perfect ending for a story.

And the perfect ending is really important because it is often the ending of a story that people remember most.

That’s because a good ending ties everything together and leaves the reader feeling satisfied.

To write good story endings, keep these tips in mind:

1. A good ending is made possible by having a good beginning and a good middle.

If you’re having trouble with the ending of your story, go back and look at your beginning and middle.

What is the BIG thing your main character is trying to do or solve at the start of the story?

Is it clear throughout the story that your character is trying to solve this problem?

Everything in the beginning and middle of your story needs to relate to this problem.

When it does, it will be much easier to come up with the perfect ending.

If it doesn’t, you won’t be able to create the perfect ending to your story.

Try this: Write down, in one or two sentences, what the main conflict is in your story. If you have trouble doing this, you probably need to get clearer about the main story problem.

2. Your ending should come about because of the actions and events we see in the beginning and the middle of your story.

For example, don’t have some character we’ve never seen before suddenly appear at the end of the story to help the main character solve the problem or solve it for him.

This won’t make for a satisfying ending.

If you want to have another character help the main character at the end, we need to see this character in the middle of the story, not just the ending.

Also remember that the ending needs to come about because of action or actions the main character did or did not take.

Things can’t simply happen to the main character by chance.

And someone else can’t simply step in and save the day for your main character.

Things need to happen because of actions and decisions the main character makes throughout the story.

3. Make sure you have plenty of conflict (rising action) that leads to the climax and ending of the story.

Endings tend to fall flat if there isn’t plenty of conflict in the middle of the story, with all sorts of decisions and actions the main character faces before he’s able to solve or resolve the overall problem.

4. Good endings evoke some sort of emotion in the reader.

To write endings that do this, start by reading other published stories in the genre you wish to write.

See how they ended and how you felt at the ending.

Make a few notes about how the authors evoked these emotions.

You’ll have to practice writing endings that cause readers to feel emotions, so take your time.

When you have a clear problem that is evident throughout the story, and plenty of conflict throughout the story as the main character tries to solve this problem, it is much easier to create the perfect ending to your story – an ending that evokes emotion from your reader and leaves him feeling satisfied.

So follow these tips until you come up with an ending for your story that is just right!

Try it!

This article was originally published at:
http://www.writersonthemove.com/2017/04/how-to-write-better-endings-to-your.html

For more writing tips and resources delivered to your e-mailbox every weekday morning, get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge from Suzanne Lieurance, the Working Writer’s Coach.

Let's talk about your children's writing project

Whether you need rewriting or ghostwriting, let me take a look at your story. Just send me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com. Please put “Children’s Writing” in the Subject box.

Or, give me a call at 347—834—6700

Let’s get your idea off the launch pad or your outline into a publishable story today!

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Jul 29

Make Success a Habit with 3 Doable Steps

Tips on achieving writing success.We all fall into the “I don’t think I can” hole now and then. It’s interesting how a lot of writers and people in general have negative thoughts throughout the day:

– I’m tired.
– This is too hard.
– I don’t have enough time.
– I’m not good enough.
– This is overwhelming.
– I have too many obligation/distractions.
– I’m always sick.

It could even be expressed in other ways:

– I wish I wasn’t so tired.
– I wish this wasn’t so hard.
– I wish I had more time.
– I wish I was good enough.

You get the idea.

I’m not sure how or why these thoughts seep into our subconscious and even into our consciousness, but they do. And, often, they stop us from being successful, from reaching your potential.

Writing coach, Suzanne Lieurance has some tips on how to get past the negatives and move forward toward writing success.

Making Success A Habit
By Suzanne Lieurance

If you aren’t as successful as you’d like to be, you simply have not made success a habit – so try this:

1. Create one goal that you’d like to reach.

Make this goal very clear and concise, so you know exactly what you want to achieve. You may have other goals. But right now, focus only on this one major goal. Write it down on an index card. Carry that card with your everywhere, so you’re constantly reminded of what you want to achieve.

2. Start thinking ONLY of what you want (your goal).

Let go of any reasons why you can’t reach your goal. Instead, think of all the reasons you can be successful at reaching this one goal.

Most people talk themselves out of their goals before they ever take consistent action. If you notice you’re starting to do that, replace any negative thoughts with positive thoughts about reaching your goal.
It may take a while, but eventually positive thinking about your goal will become a habit. And we all know, we get what we think about. Think about success, so that is what you will get.

3. Take consistent action to reach your goal.

Do you want to be a best-selling author? Then start writing your first or next novel. Don’t worry about finding an agent or publisher for it right now. Just write it! If you’ve written a novel and can’t seem to find an agent or publisher for it, start writing another novel. Many best-selling authors wrote many novels before they made their first sale to an agent or editor.

Do you want to build a successful freelance writing career? Then find at least one new client or assignment by the end of this week (you can do it if you are determined).

People who are successful at one thing tend to be successful at many things. That’s because they make success a habit.

You can make success a habit, too.

Try it!

For more writing tips and resources delivered to your e-mailbox every weekday morning, get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge from Suzanne Lieurance, the Working Writer’s Coach.

Be a children's writerBeing a writer, like being any kind of artist who creates something from nothing, is an amazing ability. It’s almost like magic. And, you are in control. You decide what to create. The only limit you have is the cap on your imagination.

Check out my 170+ page ebook (or paperback) that gives you all the basics of FICTION WRITING FOR CHILDREN. It’s newly revised and includes information on finding a publisher or agent and marketing your books.

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Apr 15

Grab the Reader’s Attention

Write a grabbing beginning

Contributed by Team Member Suzanne Lieurance

You can be a best-selling author!

Is that true?

Maybe. Maybe not.

But I’ll bet I got your attention with that statement.

And that’s exactly what you want to do if you hope to write novels and short stories (even nonfiction articles) that sell – grab your reader’s attention in the very first sentence.

Yet all too often beginning writers think they must set the scene for their story with extensive details, when all they really need to do is grab the reader’s attention.

Do you recognize any of these opening lines:

Call me Ishmael. ~ Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (1851)

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.
~ Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities (1859)

I am an invisible man. ~ Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man (1952)

They shoot the white girl first. ~ Toni Morrison, Paradise (1998)

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
~ George Orwell, 1984 (1949)

Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. ~ Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina (1877; trans. Constance Garnett)

Notice how each of these openings pulls you in.

You don’t know who or what the author is talking about, but you can’t wait to find out.

Try this kind of thing in your own stories.

Here’s how:

1. Introduce a main character right away.

Something about this character needs to be intriguing, even if it’s only his name (as in “Call me Ishmael”).

But if you have an invisible man or a giant woman or a talking cow, let this character open your story and readers will be hooked and want to find out more.

2. Drop readers “into the middle of things” rather than give a lot of background narrative to set the scene.

If you read, “They shoot the white girl first”, you have no idea what’s going, or who the white girl is, but you can’t wait to find out.

This simple line implies so much!

3. Start with something that’s just a bit off the mark.

As in “the clocks were striking thirteen.”

What does that mean?

Does the author mean 1:00?

If so, why does he say thirteen?

Is this a military term?

Again, you’ve been pulled right into the story.

You know something about the setting of this tale is a bit out of the ordinary.

4. Compare and contrast something and do it in a pleasing and rhythmic way.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” makes the reader wonder how it can be both the best and worst at once.

Plus, the rhythm of the sentence is pleasing to the ear and pulls in the reader.

These are just a few techniques that famous authors have used successfully.

These techniques will work for you, too.

And if you manage to grab the reader’s attention with the first sentence of your own novels and short stories, you just might become a best-selling author after all.

Try it!

Suzanne Lieurance is a freelance writer, the author of 30 published books and the Working Writer’s Coach. For daily writing tips and helpful resources, get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge at www.morningnudge.com.

Children's ghostwriterWhether you need rewriting or ghostwriting, let me take a look at your story. Just send me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com. Please put “Children’s Writing” in the Subject box.

Or, give me a call at 347—834—6700

Let’s get your book in publishable shape today!

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4 Must-Know Tips to Writing Better Story Endings

Write a better story ending

Contributed by team member Suzanne Lieurance

Many writers have trouble coming up with the perfect ending for a story.

And the perfect ending is really important because it is often the ending of a story that people remember most.

That’s because a good ending ties everything together and leaves the reader feeling satisfied.

To write good story endings, keep these tips in mind:

1. A good ending is made possible by having a good beginning and a good middle.

If you’re having trouble with the ending of your story, go back and look at your beginning and middle.

What is the BIG thing your main character is trying to do or solve at the start of the story?

Is it clear throughout the story that your character is trying to solve this problem?

Everything in the beginning and middle of your story needs to relate to this problem.

When it does, it will be much easier to come up with the perfect ending.

If it doesn’t, you won’t be able to create the perfect ending to your story.

Try this: Write down, in one or two sentences, what the main conflict is in your story. If you have trouble doing this, you probably need to get clearer about the main story problem.

2. Your ending should come about because of the actions and events we see in the beginning and the middle of your story.

For example, don’t have some character we’ve never seen before suddenly appear at the end of the story to help the main character solve the problem or solve it for him.

This won’t make for a satisfying ending.

If you want to have another character help the main character at the end, we need to see this character in the middle of the story, not just the ending.

Also remember that the ending needs to come about because of action or actions the main character did or did not take.

Things can’t simply happen to the main character by chance.

And someone else can’t simply step in and save the day for your main character.

Things need to happen because of actions and decisions the main character makes throughout the story.

3. Make sure you have plenty of conflict (rising action) that leads to the climax and ending of the story.

Endings tend to fall flat if there isn’t plenty of conflict in the middle of the story, with all sorts of decisions and actions the main character faces before he’s able to solve or resolve the overall problem.

4. Good endings evoke some sort of emotion in the reader.

To write endings that do this, start by reading other published stories in the genre you wish to write.

See how they ended and how you felt at the ending.

Make a few notes about how the authors evoked these emotions.

You’ll have to practice writing endings that cause readers to feel emotions, so take your time.

When you have a clear problem that is evident throughout the story, and plenty of conflict throughout the story as the main character tries to solve this problem, it is much easier to create the perfect ending to your story – an ending that evokes emotion from your reader and leaves him feeling satisfied.

So follow these tips until you come up with an ending for your story that is just right!

Try it!

Suzanne Lieurance is a fulltime freelance writer, writing coach, certified life coach, and the author of over 30 published books. For more tips, resources, and other helpful information about writing and the business of writing, get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge at www.morningnudge.com.

Children's ghostwriterWhether you need rewriting or ghostwriting, let me take a look at your story. Just send me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com. Please put “Children’s Writing” in the Subject box.

Or, give me a call at 347—834—6700

Let’s get your book in publishable shape today!

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