Friday, October 12, 2012

Writing Tips with a Marketing Perspective

Another repost from Chanticleer Book Reviews and Media. We've added notes to each writing tool to add a marketing perspective 

Nine more Take-away Gems from Donald Maass’  PNWA presentation (Follow that link for the original post)

1) Think writing tools, not rules.

Therese says: One writing tool is to use what you know so that you can use that same information in your marketing. If you set your story in a real location then you have the opportunity to chat about that location and why it mattered enough for you to use it in your story.

Morgan says: In writing, as well as in life, take all the lessons you've learned and apply them to your reality to find your own groove.  The same applies to your marketing efforts.  Get creative, add your own spin, and have some fun!

2) Emotions are what connect us to the characters of a novel. What engages your heart will engage your reader.

Therese says: Think about who you were as a reader when a story inspired you. That's the audience you want to reach, the reader you were before you became an author. To be a successful author means being connected to who you were as a reader.

Morgan says
: And it is that emotional connection that keeps readers coming back for more.

3) Create interiority. Create an emotional landscape that the characters travel through–your story’s interiority.

Therese says: I think he means that an author should make sure there's more than one character arc and transformation that relates to the goal, motivation, and conflict, embedded in the plot. It's easier to market a book that has strong character arcs. This matters to readers because when they connect with a character, they also connect to the internal journey and it becomes personal for the reader.

Morgan says: Add depth to create multi-dimensional characters and stories.  Then use these details in your marketing.

4) Reveal yourself through your fiction by writing from a personal place, a place of passion, a place of experience, a place that matters. Give these emotions and motivations to your characters.

Therese says: THIS is how you remain Genuine as an author - you are using what you know. You can research settings, and details. You can research all those things that make a story easy to market. But it is the emotional journey that matters to the reader and that connection only happens when the author can get that passion on the page.

Morgan says:  Here, here, Therese!  And it is that genuine quality of your PERSONA that will attract more readers.

5) Genre categories have become a palette from which writers may draw from to create unique hybrids. Great fiction will not be bound by conventions.

Therese says: Genres are a brand and readers have certain expectations about that brand. Consider writing good fiction within the boundaries of the brand before creating a hybrid. It's easier to market your brand if you know what it is. It's also easier to blend those genres when you know what you're bending.

Morgan says: The popularity of 'mash-up' fiction illustrates Mr. Maass' point perfectly.  (Think Sense & Sensibility & Sea Monsters or Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter.)

6) Surprise your readers. Don’t just write about the emotions that they expect. Think about the strongest emotions that you have experienced and then think about the underlying ones, the subtle ones. Write about those emotions instead of what the reader would expect from the scene/plot. Again, surprise your readers.

Therese says: Here's where COLOR is a big deal in your marketing and your writing. Color creates a certain mood and flavor the reader wants from the story. You want to surprise your reader, not bore them.. There are reader expectations when they come to a story that is presented with certain colors. To surprise a reader, you first have to give them what they expect. It's what they want. A reader has to TRUST an author can deliver a good story they want to read before the reader will let the author surprise them. The reader WANTS to be Surprised, but first they have to trust the author to appreciate the surprise.

7) Write your stories like they matter, and they will matter. Powerful fiction comes from a very personal place.

Therese says: Duh. Also - present your AUTHOR PERSONA as someone who matters! Powerful fiction is written by a PERSON.

8) Readers read to make sense of the world.Your reader wants some kind of insight into the antagonist. Who looks up to your antagonist? What does he have to gain? To lose? Why must he reach his goals? How much will he lose to meet his goal? What will he gain? Help your reader view life through the villain’s motivations and perspective. Make your antagonist multi-dimensional.

Therese says: Make your AUTHOR PERSONA multi-dimensional. Who looks up to your Author Persona? Why does a reader go one step farther to learn about the author? One reason is the reader wants to connect with the creator of the story because the story mattered to the reader.

Morgan says:   These added multi-dimensional elements also make your characters relevant to your reader.  And it is this relevance that will have your readers chatting about your books creating word-of-mouth buzz.

9) Beautiful Writing + Commercial Writing (page turners) = High Impact Writing.

Therese says: Yes. Until you get there, and have an awesome book to promote to readers, don't worry about your marketing. Keep writing.

For more writing tips and suggestions by Donald Maass, we suggest you read his guide, Writing the Breakout Novel. http://www.maassagency.com/books.html

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