Six Ways to Improve the First Fifteen Percent Of Your Novel

This post will dissect the Zero to Fifteen Percent of the First Act of the Three Act Structure. The first fifteen percent of your novel, I believe, is the most important. It encompasses the Hook and the Setup of the First Act. If you’re wondering what they all are, and how it is going to make your story a best-seller––read below.

The Three Act Structure, defined by Reedsy, is “It digs deep into the popular notion that a story must have a beginning, middle, and end, and goes even further, defining specific plot events that must take place at each stage.”

Reedsy.

I’m going to do a part-series on how you can apply the Three Act Structure to your story but more importantly, focusing in on the specific stages, to help you entice the reader to keep reading past chapter one.

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A New Name in Fantasy

I have some very exciting news. For those that have been following my writing journey, you shall remember my deal to publish my first novel, To Wield the Stars with publisher Fiction Vortex, however, in short, it went bust from COV-19.

And just as the Phoenix

rose from the ashes,

she too will rise.

Returning from the flames,

More beautiful than before.

Shannon Heartz

As a member of the story verse with other authors, we were hung out to dry with meaningless contracts until our Head proposed an idea. To become a publisher. Thus, Of Metal and Magic Publishing was born. Keep reading below to find out how to get FREE BOOKS!

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Five Tips for Editing a Manuscript Without an Editor

So you’ve completed a draft of your manuscript! Congratulations!

What’s next?

Before sending your manuscript out, you’ll want to edit it to correct your mistakes. While editing your own manuscript might seem daunting or hard to manage, it’s perfectly possible to edit all by yourself. In this article, we’ll share our five best tips for editing your manuscript… without an editor.

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Novella and the Book Blurb

As I mentioned in my last post there has been quite a lot happening in our household and I’ve finally managed to finish the edits for the novella I’ve been working on, Shadow of the Wicked.

I’ve recently completed the third round of edits, synopsis and the book blurb. In the process, I have learnt a great deal in regards to story and character structure. In such a confined space of the novella, it was tough to contain my fantasy building limits but I really enjoyed it and I’ll probably continue to write novellas.


Here is the blurb:

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Five Essentials for a Successful Story

It has been way too long since my last post. In that time, I’ve had a son, Sage Garnet Smith, and I’ve been working on a novella, editing my novel, To Wield the Stars and renovating a house.

I’m in the third rounds of my novella and I should have it completed by the end of October. If you have been following my writing journey (that’s cool if you haven’t) and thinking, why am I writing a novella when I’m trying to publish my first novel, To Wield the Stars? To build an audience for when my novel is ready.

The title is yet to be confirmed for my dark fantasy novella but if you’re interested, I have a poll running on my twitter account https://twitter.com/DouglasWTSmith

In the process, I have learnt a great deal in regards to story and character structure. In such a space of the novella, it was tough but I really enjoyed it and I’ll probably continue to write novellas.

It made me reflect on my other works in, how do I know if my story goal is good enough to support the entire novel? I don’t know but I guess that’s when my beta readers and editor will tell me.

‘In nearly all good fiction, the basic – all but inescapable – plot form is this: A central character wants something, goes after it despite opposition, perhaps including his own doubts, and so arrives at a win, lose, or draw.’ ~John Gardner

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Call Out For Beta-Readers and Critique Swap.

The last few weeks have been excruciating for us all, however in the midst of this crisis, there has been a surge in positive creative energy and optimism in our community. So many of you are getting in touch with your creative selves – exploring new skills and outlets, sharing stories and expressing yourself in new ways. I pray that you and your families and loved ones have taken every precaution to stay healthy and safe.

Self-isolation has forced me to finish the third draft of my novel, ‘To Wield The Stars’ and I am now at the stage for beta readers.

I’m looking for a beta reader and/or a critique partner. I am willing to exchange my writing with someone else (any genre, no restrictions) and give you proper feedback on your manuscript.

TO WIELD THE STARS is a 95K word epic fantasy adventure novel with three main POVs. It’s told in the close third-person past tense and in an episodic format. My novel is part of a shared universe with multiple author’s overlapping series.

Continue reading below if you’re interested to take part in the beta reader process.

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Why and How Should Authors Build a Mailing List?

I’ve done a bit of research into why authors need mailing lists. If you have a strong mailing list, you will sell books. If you don’t, you might, but you might not. Therefore, your best effort is spent building an email list so you can sell more books.

With an email list, you can promote and share new ideas, products, and services and then direct readers to a place where they can make the purchase. I began building my mailing list two months ago and it sits at a comfortable number but I regret not starting when I created this blog.

If you haven’t signed up to my mailing list to recieve exclusive offers, free stories and extracts from my novel. Click the link below to be taken to my sign-up page.

Mailing List

To continue from the title, below are Why and How Authors Should Build A Mailing List. 

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When Should Writers Edit Their Work?

As I writer I know what it feels like when someone tells me what writers should or should not do. As such, take my advice as suggestions—backed up by a few years of experience. If your method works for you, then use your method. But this is what works for me and others I know when it comes to self-editing.
Below are a few ways to look at the question: When should writers consider editing their work?

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Five Ways To Annoy Your Reader

At times it is difficult being a writer and a reader, since looking at novels with a critical eye can ruin the fun of reading. But reading often what makes our writing stronger. Over the years I’ve discovered similarities between the works that irritate me at best and cause me to lose interest and stop reading at worst.

Below, in no particular order, are five things writers (maybe including myself) do that annoy reader:

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Five Reasons Readers Should Leave Book Reviews

To begin, this is a call-out for Book Reviewers for the Of Metal and Magic: Compendium One

To begin the topic of the title, I started the discussion in a recent post, Of Metal and Magic: Compendium One and Book Reviews but I wanted to dive deeper into the topic of book reviews and how it can help authors.

Below are Five Reason Readers Should Post Book Reviews.

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