Writing a novel? Make sure to heat the seats first.
This post by Paula Munier in Jane Friedman’s blog gives some great advice for writers on how to move your reader into the story.
She likens it to using a remote car starter and heated seats before you begin a journey on a cold winter day:
“Every reader starts a story cold, and you want to warm the reader up to your story as quickly as possible,” writes Paula Munier in Jane Friedman’s blog. “You want the reader to slip into a warm seat in a hot story with a blazing beginning and take off for parts known only to you, the writer.”
According to Munier, there are three literary devices that will help you achieve this:
Start with a scene that introduces your story idea. (Think “Jaws” and how that opening set the story for the book without a scrap of dialogue.)
Start with the scene that foreshadows the story idea. (Munier gives the example of Sleeping Beauty and the fairy’s curse.)
Start with the scene that sets up the story idea with action. (Princess Leia hiding the plans for the Death Star in R2-D2 is a classic example.
My favorite piece of advice in this post is “Turn to page 50.” Munier believes that most beginning writers take too long to warm up the story, and it doesn’t usually get going until around page 50 (or about 15,000 words). Turn to page 50, and see what your characters are doing. THIS might be the right place to start for a story that compels your readers to come along.
The book is done (or almost) and it’s time to think about a cover. Where to begin? For many indie authors, this is a huge challenge.
This blog post from book cover design Joshua Jadon will give you some tips to consider, whether you are doing it yourself or working with a cover design.
From Jadon’s post:
“Your book cover design is what draws people into the story you crafted from only a blank page and an idea. It is likely the image that your readers will most associate with your story, so let’s look at nine ways you can start building the cover design you always wanted.
1. Decide if there’s a central image in your story that could be used.
If you have a recurring symbol or image throughout your story, consider a creative way to incorporate it into the cover. Whatever imagery you thought was profound enough to make it into the pages will be profound enough to grace the front of your book cover….
Thanks to Ricardo Fayet, founder of Reedsy, for this fantastic Mediashift article and infographic. If you’re wondering what it might cost you to get professional help with your book, this is the info you’ve been looking for.
Fayet writes: “…let’s say you’ve written a first draft of your novel and just uploaded it to Amazon via Kindle Direct Publishing. Technically, you’re ‘self-publishing.’ And your only monetary cost is the formatting to get the required .mobi file, which can be done for free via several online tools.
“Now, if you want to have a chance of selling that book, you need to replicate at least some of the steps of traditional publishing and ensure a certain level of quality and professionalism. This means having your book properly edited, typeset and proofread, and hiring a designer to create an eye-catching cover. Depending on your genre and your writing ability, these can cost more or less,” he continues.
As Fayet notes, there’s no hard and fast rule to say it will definitely cost you $xx; but his infographic will definitely help you understand what it takes.