How to Hook a ReaderHow to Hook a Reader by LauraMartinArt
I should note that this article will be primarily concerning YA fiction, as that is what I know most about. You may notice that some of these openings use elements that I cautioned against in an earlier article. Told ‘ya there were bountiful exceptions to writing “rules.”
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis
“There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.”
This one is just awesome. I adore some subtle humor in a book, and it’s a great way to start out if you’re witty enough. This short and amusing opening line tells us a lot about the character in a very short time. His name also gives an indication that he is not from the land of Narnia, but is probably from England, if this book is to be similar to the ones prior to it in the series. We know something about his age in t
Naming Your NovelNaming Your Novel by LauraMartinArt
*This is also helpful for other types of fiction and possibly even non-fiction.*
Note: How careful you have to be naming your novel depends heavily on if you are planning to sell it, and how you are planning to sell it. If you are an unknown who is self-publishing and you want a lot of people to read and buy your novel, you need to do extensive research on the market. This article only covers a few tips, and I am in no way a publishing expert. But, even if you don't plan on going mass-commercial, that doesn't mean you shouldn't spend some time deciding on a name for your labor of love and I hope this article provides some useful ideas.
Consider important items--does your story revolve around a magical staff, sword or pendant? For example: "The Staff of Alema," "The Sapphire Sword," or "The Destiny Pendant." (I know these are cheesy but you get the idea).
Consider who your protagonist IS--is it an assassin, a magician, an apprentice
Choosing the Right Main Character for Your Novel Classic HeroChoosing the Right Main Character for Your Novel by LauraMartinArt
The classic good guys. Sure, they slip up, learn things, and grow, but overall they try to do what's right and often end up saving the day. Examples of these types of Main Characters (MCs) are Luke Skywalker, Frodo, Captain America, and Elizabeth Bennet. These characters are what most people think of when they hear the word "protagonist." The reader always roots for them and wants to see them come to a good end. There is a danger that these MCs will be goody-two-shoe Mary Sues if they are TOO moral and noble to be relatable but they are popular because they win reader's hearts by pursuing worthy goals and desires that the reader begins to care about.
This character isn't really the main focus but serves as a window into the world. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Watson a prime example of this, with Sherlock Holmes
Naming Characters (tips for writers)Naming Characters (tips for writers) by LauraMartinArt
Choose a Name that Fits
People often make judgments based solely on an individual’s name—it’s a natural thing to do. You can use these stereotypes to yo
Book Cover Mistakes that Sabotage SalesBelow I analyze why 5 bad book covers fail and how you can avoid common mistakes.Book Cover Mistakes that Sabotage Sales by LauraMartinArt
If you’re self-publishing, your biggest selling point is probably your book cover, since you’re probably not very well known and don’t have a huge advertising agency. Before people even pick up your novel to read the description on the back or flip through the pages, they must be enticed by the cover.
Disclaimer: I’m actually not a cruel person, I just sound like one. I understand that writers generally don’t have graphic design training and they are often self-publishing. I commend people who are just starting out with graphics and are willing to try even though their work isn't perfect. But, as the point of this article is constructive criticism, I'm going to be a little rough.
The Key to Writing Romance Your Readers Will LoveThe Key to Writing Romance Your Readers Will Love by LauraMartinArt
I'd like to address an element that has been bugging me for some time that can make or break a romance storyline. The thing is, all too often characters are purported to fall deeply in love with each other for no apparent reason and without ample time to even do so. Thus, there is a plot thread or even an entire novel wrapped around a relationshi