Category Archives: Writing Tips

Things with Wings. The Detail that Makes Your Writing Fly. #MFRWAuthor #IAN1

Grabbing a reader’s attention is all about hooking her emotionally. Prying beneath the surface as she scurries along from sentence to sentence and page to page. Hitting her where she truly lives – in her heart.

We do that first and foremost by creating a main character about whom the reader not only cares but cares very much. So much so that she begins to behave as if this character were a real-life human being.

Red Jeep 1The reader roots for your character to succeed and dreads that she may not. When such rooting and dreading happens your reader is engaged on an emotional level with your story and that engagement keeps her eagerly turning pages all the way to The End.

Meanwhile, beyond this deftly drawn main character, lies another engaging element of great storytelling. An element that compels your reader to stop short for an instant in her pell-mell plunge through your plot to be hooked yet again by the Deeply Felt Detail.

This detail draws your reader to a particular moment in your story and holds her there to experience a flash of connection. She recognizes the essence of what you have written. She responds at an emotional level even if she doesn’t consciously understand why.

You’ve caught your reader on the hook of your deeply felt detail. But first you must experience that detail even more deeply yourself. Where do you find such resonance – moments, sights, objects, whatever they may be? You find them among your own deeply felt attachments.

For example, I feel such attachment to my red Jeep Wrangler. When I think about that vehicle my heart flies to a fond place, soft and warm and sentimental. Or it can fly more frantically to a place of terror. The difference depends on the circumstances of the scene.

Fond and tender if that scene is of my grandchildren filling the backseat with cookie crumbs and squabbling between bites. Frantic and fearful if that scene involves a wrong turn of the steering wheel that could send us hurtling to disaster.

I drive my red Wrangler onto the page and make my story fly straight into my reader’s psyche and most especially into her heart. I do that by revving my writer engine to the max on every drop of drama fuel this detail holds for me personally. I give it storytelling wings.

I possess a lifetime’s worth of emotionally potent details – moments, sights, objects, whatever they may be. You do also. Think back. Feel deeply. Engage your heart and your nerve endings in the search. Make a list. Then use those details in your writing and watch your stories soar.  Alice Orr – http://www.aliceorrbooks.com/

RR

A Villain for Vanessa – Riverton Romantic Suspense Book 4 and my other books are available from Amazon HEREA Wrong Way Home – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Book 1 is a FREE EBOOK  there also.

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Writers’ Resolution Number One

Idea LampThis is a picture of what I call my Idea Lamp. Things I most need to remind myself about my work are taped and pinned and clamped to the shade and even to the shaft.

The boldest print is allotted to the reminder I need most of all. Though sticky notes encroach nonetheless. “SPEND MORE TIME WRITING” it reads in solid caps and purple Sharpie ink underlined five times.

Those words require that much force of emphasis for me. Especially right now for two reasons. The first is obvious. “At this time of the rolling year…” Charles Dickens would begin. I continue “… I catapult myself into everything BUT writing.

I tell myself I’m doing it for family or for the sake of the season and its spirit or simply because I enjoy the leap. All of these are true but they don’t tell the entire tale or warble more than a few verses of the entire carol.

I’m on vacation to be sure. Vacation from what? Vacation from the problems that writing never fails to impose. Those problems are the second reason I need a resolution with the power of a well-aimed boot behind it to catapult me back to SPENDING MORE TIME WRITING.

My current challenges involve the in-progress fourth novel in my ongoing series. The new story is titled A Villain for Vanessa and it poses special problems. As special as your problems with your current project whatever it may be.

These are the boulders that make up my particular roadblock. We each have our own boulders and our own roadblocks. You and I and everyone else who has ever written down words we hope will be read – from Bob Cratchit’s pen nib to now.

We each have a story of what our individual boulders may be and how formidably they’ve been stacked in our personal path. The common element among us is that all of our boulder blockades are cemented together by doubt.

We doubt that we know what to do or how to do it or even if we can do it at all. Doubt is a killer disease and for us there is only one cure. SPEND MORE TIME WRITING. Write up one boulder and over the next and through the fissures between when we find them.

Write so furiously forward the doubts can’t overtake us – and when they inevitably do – write straight past them and beyond.

Meanwhile keep your Idea Lamp burning bright at this and every other time of the rolling year. I resolve to do the same. Happy New 2016.

Alice Orr – www.aliceorrbooks.com.

RR

A Vacancy at the Inn is Alice’s Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Book 3 – A Holiday Season Novella. Just 95 cents. The Best New Year’s Bargain Ever at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B017RZFGWC.

 

How to Create a Relatable World – Ask Alice Saturday

Hope's Prelude cover image Question: How do I create a fantasy world that works?

Answer: You create a world that real-life readers can relate to.

First of all write a series. Creating an entire alternate world is too much work to undertake for a one-off novel. Besides a series is the road to success for an author in today’s marketplace. A series is also an adventure through that alternate world. Your goal is to draw readers in and make them want to stay through one book then the next and the next. To do this you must create a world that has reality and resonance – a world that is relatable.

Then you must immerse your reader in that world. You must immerse her so completely in your story world that she’s wants – even needs – to remain there until you release her at The End. So completely she will miss that world when she’s forced to leave it and be eager to return asap. Achieve that and you’ve set a powerful narrative hook for the story and for the series as well. But how do you manage such immersion?

I found an answer to that is in a book by L.G O’Connor. Hope’s Prelude – The Angelorum Twelve Chronicles – Book 2.5 is part of a very big story world. The biggest as a matter of fact because O’Connor’s macro story world encompasses nothing less than the struggle between good and evil to determine the fate of the universe. I love big stories and good versus evil but most authors have difficulty managing the scope of that canvas. Specifically they have difficulty making the story believable and relatable.

O’Connor manages the vast scope of her story and the series by anchoring us in credible human territory. The landscape may be vast but the situation is intimate because at its heart is a love story and we relate to love stories. This is the powerful narrative hook we all carry in our romance genre kit bags. We can use it to make a potentially overwhelming story canvas personal. We immerse the reader in the world of the lovers and that is our open sesame to immersing the reader in the alternate world of the story.

But we must do so as deftly as O’Connor does. At the center of an apocalyptic struggle scenario she grounds us in a tender love story that humanizes all of the rest and gives it an up-close-and-personal scale which touches our hearts. I was fascinated by her faceoff between the forces of good – the Angelorum – and the forces of evil – the Dark Ones. But I was truly captured by the love between Hope in her worldly guise as Dr. Sandra Wilson scientist – and her guardian and mate Isa whom she calls Ishmael.

Their passion is both human and otherworldly and Isa is one of the most sexy-powerful yet gentle lovers I’ve ever read. As romance storytellers intent upon creating conflict we are often forced to situate that struggle between our lovers or lovers-to-be. The alternate world framework allows us to situate the struggle outside of the love relationship in the complex universe beyond. O’Connor takes beautiful advantage of that opportunity by creating a hero who openly adores the heroine. I found that refreshing and endearing from the start.

However engulfed I may have been by the multi-layered world of the series – what really grabbed me was Hope/Sandra and Isa/Ishmael and how much they are besotted with each other and devoted to each other. Theirs is the kind of relationship we all long to find in our real-world lives and that longing is the ultimate reader involvement. We not only want to read about this couple – we want to be part of a couple just like them.

What deeper hook can a writer set? How much more relatable can a story be? Does O’Connor’s fantasy world work? You betcha it does. Check it out at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XKID2UE and be inspired.

Alice Orr – http://www.aliceorrbooks.com.

RR

A Vacancy at the Inn  – coming soon – is the first Christmas Novella of my Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series featuring the Kalli family – and now the Miller family too – in stories of Romance and Danger. A Wrong Way Home is Book 1 of the series. A Year of Summer Shadows is Book 2. A Villain for Vanessa will be Book 3. All of my titles are available at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B000APC22E.

 

Binge Watching and Binge Reading – Riverton Road Monday

Alice's Nancy Drew TitleI not only love writing series. I also love reading series. This love affair began in my childhood Nancy Drew Books days. Of course reading under the covers with a flashlight. What better way could there be to experience The Secret of the Old Clock?

Did you know I wrote a Nancy Drew once just for the thrill of being Carolyn Keene for a month or two? It went to #2 on the kids’ bestseller list. Talk about fulfilling a childhood dream. I loved doing it. But I only wrote one. I don’t know why since I enjoyed being a teen again.

The title by the way was Danger in Disguise – and I’m flabbergasted to find it still available. D in D is even an eBook though I wrote it long before that format existed. If you don’t believe me – check this out. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HB62LKI.

I digress. Because what I’ve really been thinking about is how binge television-watching may be conditioning all of us to be ripe for binge book reading too. As in series – series – and more series. This is great news for writers. But it’s great news for readers also.

When I get my teeth into a story that carries me along lickety-split and absorbs me with its absorbing characters – it puts me in a foul mood to read THE END. I want to stick with this story. Most of all I want to stick with this experience. I want to be carried along and absorbed some more.

We’re all getting a succulent taste of this these days via television series. Look at the excitement accompanying anticipation of every new Downton Abbey season. In fact some of us have been so afflicted with separation trauma at season’s end that we binge the whole thing again.

We not only binge that preceding season – we often return to previous seasons and binge those too. Some of us even search out full seasons of Upstairs Downstairs just so we can remain in that delicious Brit place of “Blimey” and “Egad.”

We have been captured. We have been seduced. We have been immersed. We have lived in that delightful though obviously idealized milieu for episode after episode and we can’t stand to leave it. That milieu is what I’ve written about in previous posts as “the world of the series.”

We not only want to spend a bit of watcher time there. If the truth were told – many of us would love to live there and fantasize doing so. I’ve heard there are Downton Abbey parties where people dress in pre- or post-World War I posh and affect lock-jawed nasal accents.

My granny was British and tried to make me British as well so I’m all for this. She and I would have tea at four with little sandwiches and cookies – or biscuits as she called them. She taught me conversation. First I’d talk then she’d talk while I listened instead of itching to talk again myself. Those were the rules.

I digress yet again because what I’m really all for is the long game of story-loving and storytelling. This is the antidote to the here-this-nanosecond-gone-the-next attention span. Or maybe it debunks the myth of that phenomenon. Maybe the internet and the screened device haven’t rendered us all incapable of long-haul commitment after all.

My vote goes with debunking the short-span myth and hanging on to my devices too. What glass-half-empty person said we can’t have it all anyway? I’m definitely down with the have-it-all faction – for my stories if nothing else. I say old chap. Might you jolly well feel the same?

Alice Orr – http://www.aliceorrbooks.com.

RR

A Vacancy at the Inn  – coming soon – is the first Christmas Novella of my Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series featuring the Kalli family – and now the Miller family too – in stories of Romance and Danger. A Wrong Way Home is Book 1 of the series. A Year of Summer Shadows is Book 2. A Villain for Vanessa will be Book 3.

All of my titles are available at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B000APC22E.

 

A Great Place to Live – Ask Alice Saturday

Question. Why Is the World of a series a great place to live?

 Answer: Novels in a series are the road to success for an author.

A Vacancy at the Inn - Cover 2 200x300 - 20.6 KB Novels in a series are also the road to pleasure for a reader as an adventure through a world. The author builds that world detail by detail. The reader revels in that world scene by scene.

I’m traveling through my first series world as a writer and I love it there. My goal is to draw readers in and make them want to stay through one book then the next and the next. To do this I must create a world that feels real and resonates.

That means I must create a world that is consistent. A world of that has Rules. Following these rules adds to the reality of the series. You can figure out some of the rules of my series from this brief blurb.

The Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series is set in and around Riverton, New York in the remote North Country. Stories of danger and romance feature the Kalli and Miller families, their sons and daughters and the fortunate people who find safety and welcome on Riverton Road.

The setting is a town in remote northern New York State where I happened to grow up though there’s no real town called Riverton. The Kalli family of Riverton Road was at the center of my series world through Books 1 and 2. Now I’ve added the Miller who also live on Riverton Road.

Each gorgeous son and radiant daughter has or her story. I intend to move beyond them to others among the Kalli-Miller circle in future Riverton Road books. To hook readers into this extended world my job is to master the art of immersion.

I must immerse my readers so completely in my story world that they’re eager to remain there until I release them at The End. If I do that job well these readers will miss Riverton Road when they have to leave.

One way to sabotage myself would be to slip an inconsistency into the mix. Any off-key note awakens the reader from what John Gardner calls “the dream of the book”. To prevent this I establish the rules and follow them. Some I figure out in advance. Others as each story grows.

A bonus benefit – one I hadn’t expected – is that I’ve also become deeply immersed myself in the world I’m creating. From that deep place I bring my stories to real life because in that deep place they have real life for me. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had as a fiction writer.

This is how I discovered that making series rules is anything but limiting. The rules liberate my imagination into the flowing ocean of my story world until I don’t want to leave. And because I’m writing a series I don’t have to leave. Believe me. It is definitely a great place to live.

Alice Orr – http://www.aliceorrbooks.com.

RR

A Vacancy at the Inn is the first Christmas Novella of the Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series featuring the Kalli family and now the Miller family too in stories of Romance and Danger. A Wrong Way Home is Book 1 of the series – A Year of Summer Shadows is Book 2 A Villain for Vanessa is Book 3. All titles are available at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B000APC22E.

 

Nobody’s Lukewarm about Kara – Riverton Road Monday

AliceOrr_AWrongWayHome_POD[1][1]I’m not used to readers reacting ambivalently toward my heroines – much less getting upset with them. But that is precisely what’s happening with Kara – the heroine of my 13th novel A Wrong Way Home – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book 1.

Ordinarily I don’t think I’d have minded much. Except Kara is – now that I think about it – a lot like me. She’s headstrong and opinionated and sometimes abrupt. She doesn’t put up with crap from anybody.

In fact in her first scene with Matt the hero she hauls off and socks him in the kisser. His left cheek to be exact. She has her car keys balled up in her fist when she does it.

Plus – if he hadn’t backed off from his intimidating behavior – she was ready to apply a swift effective kick of her heavy Frye Boots to his private parts.

Maybe this is the New Yorker in me talking but all I have to say so far is this. “What’s not to like?”

Okay. In the interest of full disclosure I admit Kara is impatient. She’s taken some hard knocks in the past. Especially from Matt Kalli – or at least from his family. She is definitely on the defensive with Matt and she can react too quickly.

Some of her behavior can be attributed to her return to her damned hometown. Everything bad she’s ever had to live through – including those hard knocks I mentioned – happened in Riverton. She swore never to come back and she meant it.

She’s been lured here by the one North Country person she unconditionally loved – her Aunt Dee. Even after death she calls Kara to come home and she does.

One would think all the preceding was enough to endure. But in addition the true nemesis of her former Riverton life – Anthony Benton – has been murdered. Kara might be relieved except that people she loves are caught in the prime suspect crosshairs of some bad local police persons.

Consequently Kara has her full feisty on. Just as I would. Just as you might. Or – if you couldn’t manage that for yourself – you might want feisty Kara duking it on your behalf for sure.

Thus – it shakes out that there are Kara-in-my-corner folks who say things like “I loved the saucy independent street savvy heroine.” Versus a curse-that-Kara reader who says “Belligerent and hotheaded Kara comes within the too stupid to live category.”

Obviously we know where I stand. Kara is my kind of gal. Even – maybe especially – when love grabs her by the heart and she scraps and kicks but cannot shake it off.

Please give Kara a chance. My guess is you won’t be able to help yourself. By the end of her story you’ll love her too – almost as much as you love good old lovable me.

Besides – the eBook of A Wrong Way Home is FREE FREE FREE at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00T9RVGGC and other online retailers. As I said – “What’s not to like?”

Alice Orrwww.aliceorrbooks.com.

RR

My eBook A WRONG WAY HOME – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book 1 – is FREE online. My 13th novel A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #2 – is available too. Find it – along with all of my other titles – at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B000APC22E. I hope you won’t be lukewarm about any of them.

 

 

Write It Down – Ask Alice Saturday

Idea LampQuestion. What is your biggest mistake as a writer?  Answer. Sometimes I don’t write important things down.

 I know this has happened to you too because it happens to everybody. You have a knock-your-socks-off idea. It’s so good you are blown away. You can hardly believe this super great fortune has been given to you.

What has been given is a thing of perfect beauty and elegant symmetry. Best of all – it is just right for you and what you need to accomplish. I call it the Idea from Heaven. Because nothing short of paradise could deliver such a priceless gem.

This concept has struck you so deeply and moved you so profoundly you are certain beyond any possible uncertainty it has imprinted on your psyche forever. All the same you know you should write it down immediately.

But for some reason – often fairly trivial – that notetaking moment isn’t altogether convenient at this particular moment in time. You don’t intend to put it off for long – only until whatever you’re into right now is out of the way.

Besides – this is the Idea from Heaven. The bolt of lightning that has zigzagged across the deepest blue of blue skies. You absolutely will not forget it… Except you do forget it.

You look for it – maybe only minutes later – and it is gone gone gone. You search and search. You employ every memory jogger trick and technique you’ve ever heard of but all you can recall is the feeling.

All that remains is a whiff of the euphoria this once-in-what-feels-like-forever idea carried with it. Everything else has disappeared – evaporated – turned invisible like the words on those plastic-faced pads I had when I was a kid.

Maybe you had one too. You write or draw or doodle on the surface. Then you pull off the plastic covering and every mark goes with it. Finito forever. The true tabula rasa.

This is what happened to the notion that was bound to catapult you to the stars but has now flitted off – like a fickle tease – to another imagination never to return. Brain science may have a theory or twelve about this phenomenon. Or maybe the universe if just screwing with you.

Whatever the explanation the upshot is always the same – at least for me. I’m plunged into mourning. The Kubler-Ross five stages of adjusting to great loss lie ahead. And it is all my fault because all I had to do was write the damned words down. But I did not.

This happens to me less these days. I’ve learned to value these brainstorms as I do the ornaments that festoon the branches of my holiday tree. Those ornaments were made by my grandchildren and I accord them the love and attention and tender care they deserve.

I write my brainstorms down – even if I have to resort to my Idea Lamp. Because the goddess of creativity is a jealous gal and if I don’t do due diligence when gifted by her – she will get me good.

So – WRITE IT DOWN. And always remember that the only thing worse than great loss is those blankity-blank five stages of grief.

Alice Orr – www.aliceorrbooks.com.

                                                                             RR

 My eBook A WRONG WAY HOME – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book 1 – is FREE online. My 13th novel   A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #2 – is available too. Find them both – along with my other titles – at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B000APC22E. I wrote their ideas down.

 

 

Conference Heat Hits Riverton Streets – Riverton Road Monday

Heat Wave imageI spent the past weekend at the New Jersey Romance Writers Conference and I learned a lot. I learned to steam up the heat index of my Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series.

I’m not saying my previous books aren’t hot. In A Year of Summer Shadows Mark and Hailey cook in her kitchen so slam-bang hard the pots and pans are rattling off the shelves. And in A Wrong Way Home Matt and Kara warm the spring buds to bursting in more than the garden.

Still – on Friday night when I listened to my dear friend Anne Walradt read excerpts from the Put Your Heart in a Book and Golden Leaf contest winners – I knew it was time to hit the hot-stuff button until my readers beg for mercy.

That must have been noodling in my head all night long because I woke up Saturday morning and wrote a scene that had my own home fires burning. This scene appears in A Villain for Vanessa – Riverton Road Romance Series Book 3- Bobby and Vanessa’s Story which will be coming – pun entirely intended – soon.

I’m going to see how much I dare excerpt from that scene here. But – I warn you – if sexy situations are not your cup of tea stop reading now.

The roaring winds and yesterday’s rain had done their worst. Colored leaves lay in a blanket of slick stems and soggy points among the tangle of exposed roots beneath the tall, broad tree nearest to her car. Vanessa needed to think about the tangle she was in personally and how to extricate herself.

Instead, she found herself catapulted into the tangle of herself and Bobby in each other’s arms on the Kalli porch. He’d pulled her close and surrounded her with a power she hadn’t anticipated. He was usually careful not to overstep, but he wasn’t careful last night. He hadn’t so much moved past the boundary of propriety between them as he’d crushed it beneath his feet and lifted her into a place that was only him – his scent, his breath, his mouth, his everything.

He held her so tight she couldn’t have pushed him away if she wanted to, and she didn’t want to. She’d wanted more of him, every inch of his body, with no coats or jeans or sweaters in between. She longed to see him that way, naked against her, and herself just as naked pressing into him. She longed for that now.

Vanessa hadn’t put her gloves back on after leaving Wilson’s store. Her hands should be chilled to the bone, but they were hot. She breathed deep, long breaths as her fingers edged her coat aside and wandered over her thigh. She knew that wouldn’t be enough.

She engaged both hands, grabbing the waistband and snap of her pants, pulling them open and pushing the zipper down. Her fingertips were against her bare skin, flaming skin on flaming skin, moving downward beneath the flimsy fabric of her panties until she found the place she needed desperately to touch.

She reached between the….

Okay. That’s as far as I think I should go here. My guess is you get the direction I’m drifting toward. I will simply close by saying this. As the scene continues – a lot more than the autumn leaves whirl wild and end up wet.

RR

A WRONG WAY HOME – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book 1 – the eBook – is FREE at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00T9RVGGC. It is also FREE at Barnes & Noble and iTunes and KOBO and other online platforms. A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #2 – is available at those same platforms including http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZBOTH5O. These are my 12th and 13th novels and I keep delivering the heat in number 14. Alice Orrwww.aliceorrbooks.com.

 

Open for Business – Orr What? Wednesday

Open SignFall is here. New beginnings. I need that. Summer was jam-packed and fun-filled. The grandkids were here. Birthdays were honored with lots of chocolate cake. A 43rd wedding anniversary was celebrated. A vacation trip was made. Lots of excuses to be slothful on the work side.

Now slothful must end as we all open for business again. A hint of sharpness in the air and an equally sharp jab in the psyche tell us this is true. For me that means being on here with messages more regularly and reaffirming my writing discipline too.

We can find lots of excuses for avoiding the latter well into the new season. My go-to excuse is to blame the story I’m writing. I tell myself something is standing in the way of my getting on with it. I stop in my tracks and stare at that barrier as if it were impenetrable.

Have you ever experienced this road block syndrome? I’ll bet you have. It happens to everybody. And not just writers by the way. By the grace of God I’m not going through this myself right now. I’m shedding the summer slow-down for sure but I don’t feel blocked.

Unfortunately a dear friend of mine does. I hope she won’t mind if I pass on to you what I said to her not long ago – with some edits. Just in case you might be facing a road block or end up facing one in the future. Here’s my advice about that.

Believe me. You will get yourself and your work together. In the meantime you must not let yourself be encumbered by worry and agitation. Getting and staying unencumbered are among my personal themes as we begin this rejuvenating season. I invite you to share them.

Those two things in particular – worry and agitation – are what we need to jettison. We all carry too much of both and are equally weighed down and worked up by them. That’s not good for our work or for ourselves as humans deserving of joy in this life.

You will find the inspiration you need. You will find the pieces of your story because they are in your imagination waiting to be found. And when you put them together they will fit. Put each piece into words with passion in them and they will fit perfectly. Or perfectly enough.

I don’t mean to go all Pollyanna on you and pretend this is an easy task. Creativity is a re-assemblage of elements already within us into something new. This exercise may have a high PITA factor but it is definitely worth the effort.

So – Do It Anyway. The result will make you glad you did. The result will be that you’re Open for Business.

RR

A WRONG WAY HOME – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book 1 – the eBook – is FREE at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00T9RVGGC. It is also FREE at Barnes & Noble and iTunes and KOBO and other online platforms. A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #2 – is available at those same platforms including http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZBOTH5O. These are my 12th and 13th novels and I’m currently open for business on number 14. Alice Orrwww.aliceorrbooks.com.

 

Your Place of Maximum Possibility – Orr What? Wednesday

Sky's the Limit imageMy grandmother used to say “Always put your best foot forward.” She could have been speaking to anyone who hopes to be published today. I’m speaking to that very audience and as Grandma’s good girl I say “Always approach publishing from your place of maximum possibility.”

“Where is that place?” you might ask. Your maximum possibility resides in three venues. Today I address the first and what I consider the foremost of those – your writing work. I’ll get to the other two later.

To be in your place of maximum possibility for finding a traditional publisher or a readership as an independent publisher – you must write the very best work you have in you. The very best novel. The very best memoir. The very best nonfiction book. The very best story or article. That YOU have in YOU.

Anything less than your very best won’t be good enough to get you where you want to go in this extremely competitive media environment. On the traditional side agents and editors have piles of pages and a plenitude of digital submissions to select from when it comes to what they will represent or acquire.

“Choose me. Choose me” every eager writer cries. Your voices and mine are among them.

On the independent side readers have a multitude of eBooks and even indie published print books to choose from. We talk a lot about discoverability in the indie community. Those conversations have lurking beneath them our own cries of “Choose me. Choose me” as well.

Whatever your publishing medium choice may be the central question is the same. How do I emerge as one of the chosen? You write something absolutely bang-on terrific. That’s how.

You do that by getting your writer self into study mode. Study authors who are doing it right already. Study books on writing craft that can help you hone your own. Grab most tightly onto the tomes with lots of hands-on exercises. Do those exercises with your current writing project in mind. Because you must take what you learn and practice – practice – practice.

This also means going back to school. Find a writing course taught by somebody who truly knows how to teach. Listen to the jungle drums of student comment to know who that good teacher is. Then don’t miss a single class or blow off a single assignment. Take criticism with gratitude and run with it straight to the best writing you have in you.

Polish your writing until it’s a brilliant gem that will shine like a beacon to light your way from here. Because as you hold this writing gem in your hand and heart – you’ve reached the first great milestone without which the rest of your author aspirations cannot happen. You and your very best work have entered your own Personal Place of Maximum Possibility. And Grandma is really proud of you as am I.

RR

A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #2 – Mark & Hailey’s Story. Officially launches with summer on June 22nd but is already available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZBOTH5O. This is my 13th novel and I wrote it from my place of maximum possibility. Alice Orrwww.aliceorrbooks.com.