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Bonus scenes

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A couple of novels I’ve read – I think they were all YA – had bonus scenes at the end of the story. I’m not sure what you think of this idea, but I thought it was really great. They’re usually a key scene in the novel retold from the point of view of the other character in the scene. Usually the love interest of the main character. It’s a great way to give the reader a glimpse into the mind of the other character and a new perspective.

The best example of this is Obsidian by Jennifer L Armentrout. The novel itself is a fantastic story about a girl that moves to a small town and discovers that there are aliens living next door. It’s the first book in the Lux Series and I recommend it to anyone who has even a slight interest in the genre. And there are actually two bonus scenes from Daemon’s point of view.

I love the idea of doing a bonus scene so much that I have included one in my work-in-progress, Spark of Lightning (formerly called The Andromeda Mine). It will be from Daniel’s point of view.

When I get to the Beta Reader stage, I will be asking my Beta Readers for feedback on the bonus scene to see if they like it.

For all the authors out there, what do you think? Let me know in the comments.

 

Please check out some of the helpful tutorials for authors here at TechSavvyAuthor.net.

Not ready to write a full-length novel? Try Wattpad

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Even though I do have a full-length novel published (called “Tamisan”), I also have two short stories online on a site called Wattpad. Wattpad is a website chock full of stories of all lengths and genres that are free to read. All you have to do is sign up for your free account. Of course, as with any non-published fiction, there will be stories that you won’t like or that will be so bad that they’ll be unreadable, but there are plenty of good ones there too.

I’ve read some good stories on there. You can vote on your favourite stories, so this is a way to tell if the story is good or not – just see how many people have read it and how many have voted for it.

You can follow other authors and have a bunch of readers and authors following you. You can send them messages and they can be notified when you post your next chapter. You can be notified when someone likes your chapter. People typically post a chapter at a time. Sometimes once a day. Sometimes once a week or month.

Some people write a chapter at a time and post them as they go, but some will wait until they have the whole story written before posting. I’ve heard stories of authors who have a huge following on Wattpad being contacted by publishers to get their story published. This sounds really great – like something out of a fairy tale, but don’t get your hopes up and rush to Wattpad with your story thinking it will happen to you. This occurrence is very rare.

So, if you want to try out some of your stories (or just one) on the unsuspecting public to see what kind of reaction you get, maybe you could give Wattpad a try.

Please note that I don’t get paid or any other kind of kickback by recommending Wattpad. I recommend it because I think it’s a great way to put your stories out into the world before attempting publishing, or as well as publishing.

I have a really short story up there that is only in one part called “Seduced by a Vampire” and another that is seven chapters long called “The Alien”. I’d love it if you read them and commented so I can see what you thought.

If you put a story up on Wattpad, feel free to come back here and put the link to it in the comments so I can read it.

I hope this has been helpful to you. Let me know in the comments.

 

Please check out some of the helpful tutorials for authors here at TechSavvyAuthor.net.

Naming your chapters – my opinion

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I’d like to give my opinion of giving your chapters names. I don’t think it’s wrong and that you should never do it, but I won’t do it in a full-length novel. And I’ll tell you a few reasons why.

Firstly, it is difficult to do well and takes a lot of time and effort. Secondly, if you don’t create good names, they’re going to sound awful or cheesy. Thirdly – and this is my main reason – they can act as a spoiler. I’ve had chapter names spoil what’s ahead for me so many times that I actually try not to read them. But I can’t help it. I have to read everything. It’s the way I am.

It’s distracting for me too. While I’m reading the novel, I start to wonder why the chapter has that name and how it relates to the story. I start thinking about what it could mean for the protagonist and sit and stew about it if the chapter name is a spoiler. Then I have to read the page I was just reading all over again because I wasn’t concentrating.

My advice is not to name your chapters. Do it for me.

Now, if you’ve been to Wattpad.com and read my two short stories, you’ll probably be thinking that I’m crazy. One of my stories – The Alien – has named chapters. The main reason for me doing this is that everyone else seemed to be doing it and since the stories on Wattpad are uploaded one chapter at a time and read over a long period of time by the readers, I thought that maybe it would be a good idea to help people keep track of what they’d read. The Alien was only seven chapters long and I tried not to give too much away with the names.

So I’ll say it again. I won’t ever name the chapters in a full-length novel. It’s not really needed in books meant for adults and teens.

I hope this has been helpful to you. Let me know in the comments.

 

Please check out some of the helpful tutorials for authors here at TechSavvyAuthor.net.

I am looking for a Critique Partner

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Hey everyone! I wanted to just put this out there. I am looking for a Critique Partner so we can share feedback on each other’s novels as we’re working on them. My genres are Paranormal/Romance, Science Fiction/Romance, Fantasy/Romance, and Dystopian/Romance.

For those of you who don’t know what a Critique Partner is, it is someone who is also an author, or aspiring author. The idea is that you give them your story to read as you’re working on it, and they give you feedback and constructive criticism from an AUTHOR’S point of view so that you can determine whether your manuscript is working or whether it maybe might just fall in a heap and not hold up as a strong story. It works both ways. You do the same for their story. It helps immensely if you both write the same or at least similar genres.

You might be thinking; isn’t that what Beta Readers are for? Well, no. Not exactly.

Beta Readers will read your story and give you feedback from a READER’S point of view. They can’t tell you if your characters aren’t developed enough or if your premise is strong. But that doesn’t mean that a Beta Reader’s opinion isn’t valid or needed. You should use them too. I plan to follow some suggestions made by one of my favourite Author-Tubers, Jenna Moreci, and get a Critique Partner during my writing process and use about twenty Beta Readers once I’ve written and edited my manuscript. Once I get their feedback and I’ve incorporated what I think is necessary into my novel, I can do my final polishing and publish it.

I strongly recommend Jenna Moreci’s YouTube videos. They’re informative and funny and have helped me a lot.

If you’d like to be my Critique Partner or just want to contact me and say hi, my email address is: suemckenzie68@yahoo.com.

 

Please check out some of the helpful tutorials for authors here at TechSavvyAuthor.net.

Amazon in your country

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Hey everyone! Just a quick post about Amazon. When I first signed up to Amazon, I signed up to the one in the US (www.amazon.com). I’m not sure when they spread out and created sites in different countries around the globe, but I didn’t know anything about them at first.

A few years later, I signed up as a book seller. I was still buying books through the US site and paying the international conversion fee to transfer my money into US dollars. Then I found out about the Australian site (www.amazon.com.au), so I switched and now I pay for my books in Australian dollars and don’t have to pay the fee.

If you live in a country that is different to where you live, check out whether there is an Amazon site in your country and save yourself some money.

I hope this has been helpful to you. Let me know in the comments.

 

Please check out some of the helpful tutorials for authors here at TechSavvyAuthor.net.

When books in a series aren’t clearly numbered

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It happens with movies too, but more often, it is a problem with novels. It’s one of my pet hates. I never want to read a book series out of order. Or watch a movie series out of its order. One reason is because it’s hard to follow what’s going on. Another reason is because there’s gonna be spoilers. And I HATE spoilers.

I understand that just naming them something like Jaws I, Jaws II, Jaws III, and Jaws IV is kinda boring and I’m all for variety – just as long as they make sure it is very clear which book in the series it is. And I mean VERY clear.

An author and YouTuber that I’m subscribed to announced the third and last book in her trilogy in a video that I watched last night and one of the first things I noticed was that each book had the title and author name. The covers looked great and the books are probably fantastic, but unless you watch her channel or follow her other forms of social media, you would have no clue where to start, or that they’re even part of a series. And there’s way too many books out there like this.

If I can’t figure out which book comes first, I won’t read them. That’s lost sales – not only for book one, but for the whole series. And I’m probably not the only reader to do this.

My advice to authors out there who are creating a series of stories for the world to enjoy, please, please, please put the book number on your covers!

Thanks in advance!

I hope this has been helpful to you. Let me know in the comments.

 

Please check out some of the helpful tutorials for authors here at TechSavvyAuthor.net.

Software for writing – Why I don’t recommend Word to write your whole book

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Most people that own a computer know how to use some kind of word processor, whether it is Microsoft Word, Microsoft Works, Apache Open Office, Polaris Office, or Libre Office Writer.

I think probably the most used and most well-known would be Microsoft Word. That’s what I use. It is a good program and because it’s so widely used, the files created by Word are compatible with what most people are using.

But… There’s always a but. I don’t use Word anymore when it comes to writing a full-length novel. I tried it and found it to be too hard. You are probably wondering how an easy-to-use and widely used program could be too hard to use to write a book. And I don’t blame you. But if you’ve ever attempted it, you might understand. I had a novel that was about 120,000 words long at the time, and when I was editing and adding stuff, it became extremely difficult to find the section of the story that I wanted to edit.

I couldn’t remember which chapter had what in it and editing became a real nightmare. I tried to set up a spreadsheet to keep track of each chapter. Things like what was in it and what page it started and finished on. The problem was; those things kept changing. If I added a few paragraphs to a chapter, it would become longer (obviously) and the page numbers would have to be changed every time I worked on my book.

I found a program called Storylines, which let me add scenes along a timeline, and I could have separate timelines for each character. They appeared on the screen as cards on a caulk board. From there I could write a detailed scene for each scene/card. I had some difficulty with a lack of formatting for the text and I needed to italicise what people were thinking, so I went on the hunt for something else. Please note that I liked Storylines and that it was an older version. The formatting problem might not exist now.

I found a free program called yWriter which had been created by an author and programmer in order to make writing easier for himself. He now shares his creation with the world. I will do a post soon on yWriter to give more details about it, but for now I will say that I have found it to be thorough and easy to use and, of course, it makes the job of writing and keeping track of everything so much easier.

You can separate everything into scenes and chapters, write notes for each chapter, write descriptions for characters, items, and locations in the story, and write out the goals, actions, and reactions for each chapter. You can name each scene and put in a short description, so finding the section you want to edit is a breeze.

It can all be exported into an .rtf file format, which is similar to Word’s .doc or .docx formats and can be read by Word and a few other word processors. It can then be transferred into .doc or .docx formats, or even .pdf if you want.

There are reports you can print and you can keep track of your word count as well, to keep you motivated.

And it’s free.

I know there are other programs out there, like Scrivener, but a lot of authors aren’t made of money, so yWriter is worth checking out. It’s available at www.spacejock.com. I don’t get anything moneywise out of recommending this software to people. I recommend it because it’s good.

Give it a go. It costs nothing to try.

I hope that this post has been helpful to you. Let me know in the comments.

 

Please check out some of the helpful tutorials for authors here at TechSavvyAuthor.net.