Letting Characters Write Their Own Endings

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You’re writing along. Things are going pretty well. And then the unthinkable happens.

Your character doesn’t want to cooperate. He doesn’t want to die or lose the battle or watch as someone else “gets the girl.”

And, you say to yourself, “Just who does he think he is? I created him. I gave him thoughts, ideas, friends, goals, depth. Who is he to tell me here, in Chapter Nineteen—at the climax of the story—that he doesn’t agree with the way I’ve written it?”

I feel your pain. No, really I DO because it just happened to me.

My main character and I are having a meeting of the minds…a war of the words. 

He’s going to win.

I know it. I just know it.

Because he’s REAL. 

He’s lived and breathed life into this story for nine months. 

Who better to tell me how things should end?

In order to change the outcome, it will be necessary for me to go back to Chapter Fifteen and start rewriting.

So, I yell out to him, “Why did you wait until now to tell me this? Couldn’t you have clued me in a little sooner?”

He just laughs and tells me to get back to work.

GETTING PRIORITIES STRAIGHT

 

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Life is full of twists and turns, events, obligations, friends and family…

This requires us to make priorities and, the choices are often complicated.

If you are a writer, you know that the path to spending time at our craft is often blocked—sometimes by people and events over which we have little or no control.

Recently, I have had to make choices between what I might like to do—even feel called to do—and family obligations.

Because of my parent’s failing health, blocks of time have needed to be reallocated from my writing time to family time.

Because I choose to focus on what they need, writing has had to take a backseat.

As life circumstances change, our priorities change.

Although family was always a priority in my heart, I lost sight of this when I “found” writing, often pushing aside those things in life that were really more important.

Knowing that changes are inevitable and impact one’s deepest values, we must be willing to reevaluate, give up “the dream” for a season, and move in a new direction.

Do I still write during these last stages in my mother’s Alzheimer’s journey?

Of course. But, it has just taken on a different focus.

I Remember the Seasons is a work of the heart.

I will never forget the look on my mother’s face when she thumbed through the book and realized it was dedicated to her and Dad.

That one beautiful memory of her smile will last a lifetime.

These Have Helped Me

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I Hope You Find These Useful, Too:

Create Space Marketing Copy Essentials

https://www.createspace.com/Services/MarketingCopyEssentials.jsp

 

See the KDP YouTube page here (https://www.youtube.com/playli=

st?list=3DPLE1Y2pbwRpkgh9fe4P8hKGJ55s2x4oZz7) to learn what high resolution=

images are, why they are important to the overall quality of your book, and how to create them.

 

Read about creating a prologue or an epilogue at (https://forums.createspace.com/en/community/community/resources/= blog/2017/06/05/do-you-need-a-prologue-or-an-epilogue).

 

CreateSpace How-to Resource Guide: https://www.createspace.com/Special/Ente=

rprise/Publisher/submission_guidelines.jsp

 

KDP How-to Resource Guide: https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=3DA2MB3WT2D0=

PTNK/?ref_=3Dkdpgp_e_us_en_f-11-csp

 

KDP Help Pages: https://kdp.amazon.com/help?ref_=3Dkdpgp_e_us_en_f-13-csp&l=

anguage=3Den_US

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KindleDirectPublishing?ref_=3D21

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AmazonKDP?ref_=3D20

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/amazonkdp?ref_=3D16

Scammers, Opportunists, or Angels of Mercy?

 

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I get emails every day from companies who promise to help with the publishing, marketing, and promotion of my books. Whether you are self-published or traditionally published, I am sure that you are on their radar, also.

I admit that a few months ago, I fell prey to one of these companies. Once they had my money, I never got updated or any kind of personal acknowledgment to any of my questions.

I still get their daily emails, though, with more offers to perform all kinds of tasks that I can do for myself. The problem is, however, these all take time—precious minutes away from doing what we love—writing!

I have promised myself that I WILL learn to play the marketing game. Doing so is always at the back of my mind, like a flesh-eating bacteria.

Admittedly, just the thought of performing marketing tasks tends to steal my creative joy.

I’ve tried rewarding myself for spending a couple of hours each day on marketing. I gained ten pounds this year with such “rewards.”

I’ve also tried setting aside one day per week to work on book promotion.

Now, I have an aversion to Thursdays.

Ah, what to do.

My suggestion? Create whatever schedule works best for you and stick to it as best you can. Definitely, don’t give up on marketing altogether because it is just as ESSENTIAL as any other aspect of writing.

Yes, we have to take the bad along with the good. So, beware of so-called “easy fixes” and those who would prey upon your lack of time, sleep, or expertise in promoting your book(s).

On the other hand, many are helpful and fulfill a vital role in the never-ending saga of book promotion.

Do what aspects of marketing you understand, enjoy, or have time for.

Learn something new each week.

Lean on advice from trusted author friends.

Next week, I will publish a list of helpful websites related to this topic. Be sure you have ink in your printer.

Post on Buzzfeed

 

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Another in our list of strategies for selling more books is to submit a post to Buzzfeed. Begin with a clever tie-in to your book. Then, write a short article about your book in a unique format—say a riddle or a quiz about your main characters. For example, “Would Max or Rhoda be most likely to try Scuba Diving?” A crossword puzzle or a word search could also be a possibility.

Anything is fair game as long as it hooks your potential reader!!

Do An Interview

 

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Another way to uniquely promote your book and create more sales is to do interviews. Opportunities to do radio, newspaper, and magazine might be more realistic at first. However, do a great job and you may be invited to do a podcast or television interview.

Many of us are members of Goodreads—if you’re not, you should be! This site invites author interviews after a short submission process, including writing a short blurb about why the author feels his or her interview would be interesting to their readers.  (Is there something unique about you or your writing that readers would like to know about?)

Even More Powerful: Video

 

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We have talked about the video blog, but here I am referring to creating a book trailer or perhaps even something more creative.

Let’s say you’ve written a teenage girl-focused book on wardrobe essentials. You could create a series of tutorials including color and fabric selection, mixing and matching styles, hairdos, etc. Or, for a book on soccer, a series of tutorials on strategies for making goals. Once done, publish them on YouTube and your other social channels.