You’ve spent countless hours pondering the plot, creating the characters’ voices, and building the perfect twist at the end that will leave readers speechless. Once everything is as good as you can make it, you publish your writing and wait. . . .
But no one reads your masterpiece.
Unfortunately, in our content-saturated age, if you don’t grab people by the throat, pull them in close, and yell, “Pay attention to me!” with your first paragraph, they won’t stick around to read the amazing story you’ve crafted. Here’s how to write an opening paragraph that will draw your readers in and keep them reading to the end.
As attention spans grow shorter, there is an increased demand for shorter stories.
I’ve noticed recently a lot of contests and submissions calling for stories under 3000 words. Writing a story this short is different than writing a novel or even a 10,000-word story. We need to get into the story, make a connection with the reader, and then wrap it up without wasting any time. It can feel strange for those of us used to writing larger pieces.
When you’re writing a very short story, editing is crucial.
The stories we tell ourselves are like glasses through which we understand the world. They define the field we play on and guide the decisions we make, whether about book publishing or any other area of our lives.
Unfortunately, in the world of writing and publishing, there are a lot of false narratives floating around that create a romantic idea about the life of an author that can end in self-doubt, frustration, and stagnation. To avoid falling into the trap of bad stories, it’s important we pause and consider the world we exist in.
Recently, I shared why Microsoft Excel and Google Docs are some of my favorite pieces of book writing software. Spreadsheets might seem like odd resources for a writer, but I’ve found them to be invaluable tools for planning my stories.
I use spreadsheets to plan my stories in several ways. Today, though, I’m going to focus on just one: creating a beat sheet to outline a story before I write.
While finding a word processing tool you are comfortable with is crucial to writing, there are other types of book writing software that are just as important. Before I wrote my first novel, if you’d told me that an important part of my book writing software arsenal would be a good spreadsheet, I would have said you were crazy.
Now that I’ve published three novels, I realize my plots and worlds would never make sense without them.