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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Five Ways to Finish Your Novel

So, you’re a writer, but when people ask for a copy of your novel, you only have two or three chapters to share, and they may not even be from the same work. Finishing a book is hard work, and it’s all too easy to get distracted, overwhelmed, and discouraged.

When I first started writing, I struggled to move past the first chapter. I moved to short stories for a while so I could achieve a sense of completion but deep down, I wanted to be a novelist. Fast forward two years, I have now finished two novels, A Time of Stones and To Wield the Stars. 

If your a writer that struggles to finish your novel, below are five ways to help you.

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How To Use Foreshadowing in Your Novel Like A Master.

If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. —Anton Chekhov

This quote by Chekhov is the basis of foreshadowing. Foreshadowing is a literary device that allows you to plant clues, hint at what’s to come, build the tension, or even place a red herring in your reader’s path.

You can use foreshadowing in a variety of ways. The resulting action can be immediate or delayed. Foreshadowing can feed the tension of a scene. You can use dialogue or narrative to set the scene, and you can foreshadow a symbolic event or an ethical dilemma. You can use direct or indirect foreshadowing, and it can even be true or false.

Below are when to use foreshadowing, the major turning points in your novel, tips and how to master foreshadowing.

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Of Metal and Magic: Compendium One and Book Reviews

It has been a while since my last post and there are many reasons why I have been absent from my blog posting. They are the same reasons as my last post.

I have been writing my novel, To Wield The Stars. I have been devoting all my spare time to this novel and neglecting my blog. I’m sorry.

However, I am so excited to be apart of my first compendium for Fiction Vortex.

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Two Thousand and Twenty

Happy New Year fellow writers and bloggers!

Last year I asked a question to my readers.

What are your writing ambitions for the next twelve months?

So, what were they? Did you achieve your goals? Will you set more goals or less this year? What have you got planned for Two Thousand and Twenty?

These are the questions you should be thinking about if you want to make changes or continue the momentum into the new year.

In twenty nineteen, I had high expectations for my writing. I am proud to say I achieved my goals and this coming year, I will have the same level of expectations.

Let me reflect on the year that has passed.

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