Do you have a great idea for a book but you’re not sure what to do with it? Have you ever started writing a book and never finished, or finished it but didn’t know what to do next?
If yes, you might feel frustrated. You also might greatly benefit from hiring a writing coach.
But what is a writing—or book—coach? Do you need to hire someone to finish a book, or can you do it on your own for free?
Whether or not you’re interested in self-publishing a book or pursuing the traditional publishing path, a writing coach will make you a better writer in every step of your writing process.
Learn why a writing coach might benefit your first book, or hundredth, and how to find the writing coach you need.
When new writers ask, “How do I succeed as an author?” the advice they most often receive is, “Write to market.”Popularized by Chris Fox’s 2016 book, Write to Market: Deliver a Book that Sells, the strategy requires authors to pick a genre to write in, study the tropes of that genre of books that are currently selling, and then write a book in that genre that fits all the existing tropes. While many authors struggle to embrace this concept, by changing our perspective on it, we will find it empowering rather than limiting.
Without the White Witch, Aslan is just a recluse lion. Without Moriarty, Sherlock is just a know-it-all in a weird hat. Without the Joker, Batman is just a rich dude with anger issues and too much time on his hands.
Our villains make our heroes. Without them, our heroes can’t shine. That’s why it’s important to give our villains scenes where they can wow us with their quirks and scare us with their ferocity.
In the movies, inspiration strikes the writer, and then a montage of the writer banging away on his or her chosen instrument flashes by, ending with a completed masterpiece that shares the writer’s soul with the world. Sadly, the reality is not like the movies. Sometimes the stories rip through your fingers like your hands are possessed; but more often, putting a story into words feels like yanking your teeth out of your head. It’s all too easy to get stuck in writer’s block.
When that happens, there’s nothing more we want to do than give up on the story and start over. But we can’t. We have to push through and finish it.
When I tackled writing my first mystery two years ago, I was shocked at how different the process was from writing a general thriller. Even though I’d already published six novels, I was surprised at how much preparation and planning writing a detective story took.
If you’re thinking of writing a mystery, here are six things I had to learn I wish someone had told me.