Where I’ve been, and Where I’m Going.
The Dark Days are behind me… time to be Positive!
Where I’ve been, and Where I’m Going.
The Dark Days are behind me… time to be Positive!
When the breeze hits my hair, I realise something is not right.
Every so often, I perform an action that many cannot even ‘get-out-of-bed’ for.
It’s called change… and it’s to do with my site. Yes, I’m considering a theme change, however, my schematics struggle with which style to select.
I need help.
Like help – help – help.
Below are some variants. Please do give your view…or just tell me that “we like what you have” and “stop killing the rods and cones in our eyes with colours that defy what the heck they were designed for.”
Phew…. Deep breath moment.
The links below take you to previews of the themes – and believe me they are more than what the images below show.
NOTE: I am NOT affiliated to any of the themes, and will not benefit financially, physically, morally or hypothetically from you purchasing or viewing them.
We start here – this happens – and we end up there
The Character Arc.Why is it important in a novel?
2 Reasons: a) We see change, and b) We don’t know the ending
Imagine reading a novel about a character who despises animals, and at the end of the novel they still hate animals. Wouldn’t you feel cheated? Yes – it is realistic, because in real life, people who hate animals will go on hating animals, but if I’m reading fiction, I don’t want total realism… even if the novel is set on Earth.
I want to see change.
And that is why change – via a Character Arc – is important.
How lame would a novel/story be if:
Scrooge still hated Christmas
Jurassic Park was a fully-functional theme park
Every criminal in The Green Mile was a criminal and deserved to die
To move along the CA (Character Arc), there must be an event – that kick-starts the change-effect with the Main Character.
Scrooge – Ghosts of Past, Present, and the Future (This is a melodramatic change that doesn’t always work well in novels written now).
Jurassic – Like I need to tell you…
The Green Mile – Coffee, Mr Jingles, etc… the moments you shed a tear at…
The events – and there can be many – make the MC question themselves and what they knew, and how they must take on a new role/school of thought to overcome the disaster that faces them as a result of the event.
But – we must keep things in check.
We cannot turn an evil-jerk into an adorable-angel without the reader thinking … “Urm… very unrealistic.”
So keep the change the character undergoes to a level whereby the MC can still possess some doubt and ill-qualities that they began with.
If your MC does not experience any change. Rethink your novel and the MC.
It goes without saying that a website, as a means to promote yourself, is a fundamental aspect of being a writer in today’s expanding digital-arena. Of course, you must socialise on platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, whether you like it not, but having somewhere to place your writing progress, wip, or a general blog is key to gaining an audience. And – most of all, to let the world know you are.
My website http://www.imranwrites.com is a means for me to promote not just my writing, but also any useful advice I gain from scouring the website. I am not an expert, but if I can simplify prepositions, show-not-tell, pov, conflict, character building, as well as a zillion other things, then I feel I have contributed to the writing world.
Does my site grab your attention? Now then, how much did it cost to set this site up? £2,000? £1,000? £500? Actually, it was lower than you think…
Stage 1 – Platform to Form Site Upon
There are dozens upon dozens of platforms you can use, though I used http://www.wordpress.org
I must make clear that there is an alternative called http://www.wordpress.com, which is commonly used as it is free to do so, however, unless you pay $99 you will have a site with the domain name of http://www.imranwrites.wordpress.com
I don’t know about you, but http://www.imranwrites.com looks a tad better than http://www.imranwrites.wordpress.com [But it is entirely up to you!]
Okay… so, if you do pay $99, you can have http://www.imranwrites.com, but the hosting package (relates to Stage 2) that you’ll receive is mediocre. My recommendation is that you use http://www.wordpress.org
Cost so far = £0
Stage 2 – Hosting of Site
Every site needs a host before it is available on the World-Wide-Web
Once you have signed up to http://www.wordpress.org, you will have the option of a hosting site. There are several available on wordpress. I opted to use www.bluehost.com
Great thing was that I got the choice of a domain – http://www.imranwrites.com – perfect!
And the cost? $3.95 per month if you pay up front for 24 months, or $4.95 per month, if you pay up front for 12 months.
There is an inbuilt Live-Chat process available on the site, so if you do get stuck with the signing up, or next steps process, there is always someone available to help.
I opted for 24 months, so in total, I paid $94.8 – which works out to £59 under current currency-exchange rates.
Cost so far = £59
Step 3 – Build your Site
Once you’ve followed the specified steps on Bluehost, you’re site will be ready for you to work on.
You will be introduced to a basic template with some pre-built content, just to help you get used to the interface. However, I found the pre-built theme and many of the free theme that you can load from the internet to be… boring…I wanted something with a little ‘oomph’.
I sourced out a theme site http://www.elegantthemes.com
For a charge of $39 (per year = £24) I can have the my pick of any of the theme they currently offer. And, I can change at any time as well. The theme are funky, intuitive and very different. They help to make my website feel a little more alive. When you download a theme… you can easily upload it onto your site by using the wordpress control panel.
Cost of far = £83
Step 4 – Protect your Site
SPAM and people trying to hack sites is common practice, and any additional security to what Bluehost offer is key…if you ask me.
Within your site, you will have the option of applying Askimet – an ever-present protecting piece of kit. For a simple charge of $35, I have made my site as secure as I can. I strongly recommend this.
Cost so far = £104
Step 5 – Populate your Site
Create your own images, photographs, blog posts, stories, thoughts, ideas, etc.
Be creative and build a name and a site for yourself that shows who you are and what you can offer!
TOTAL COST to set up http://www.imranwrites.com = £104 or $166
Not bad hey?
Often I will read a novel with a prologue, and when I read another without a prologue, I used to consider it to be the authors choice. Wrong… It is not always necessary to have a prologue, and choice rarely comes into it. What matters is the content of your novel, and that will determine if a prologue is required. I did have a prologue in The Last Strider, but on reading it back, I now realise (or realize if American) that it adds nothing to the novel and is just a waste of a page. Scrapped.
Please do visit Sirra’s amazing blog about writing tips. Her post on Prologues is recommended: http://sirragirl.blogspot.com/2011/06/where-to-start-novel.html
Why you DO NOT NEED a Prologue
Do you have view on prologues?
Finally, I can release my leash and hold a competition. There is a possibility that these will occur regularly, every month, depending on uptake. I am not just doing this for my benefit, as you will see in the rules of entry, but also to give something back to you, the writers. I appreciate how hard writers work and if I can do something to motivate and help you, then I will feel a little bit better.
So, without further ado, I announce:
Closing date 11:59pm GMT Monday 10 October 2011
(Why don’t I call the competition Oct 2011, instead of Sept 2011, well, yes, I know, but let us continue)
1. Gold Prize = A 10 page critique - or – A Synopsis + Covering Query Letter Critique – by an excellent Editor. The winner can choose which option they go for.
When trying to make that all important step from a writer into a great writer, an editor is key. Sirra comes highly recommended. I strongly advise that learning from mistakes that occur in the first 10 pages of your novel will be a great move for the pages to come. And, having a Synopsis/Letter looked over by an experienced editor is just as important.
Sirra - As a freelance editor, translator, and writer, she looks forward to using her experiences and knowledge to turn your manuscript into a great book.
2. Silver Prize = £20 Amazon Voucher to spend on anything you desire. Depending on conversion-rate this could be (as per today’s £ to US $ conversion) = $30.99
3. Bronze Prize = £5 Amazon Voucher (as per today’s £ to US $ conversion) = $7.74
Note: I will use the conversion rate as per the day of payment to the winners, which will be Tuesday 11 October 2011.
In the comments section below, please enter in the provided order;
When submitting to a Literary Agent there are usually some things that are a must… A covering letter, Sample Chapters (depending on submission guidelines), and the dreaded Synopsis. Why dreaded? Well, it can be the most frustrating part of your novel. You have just spent weeks, months, years on perfecting your novel, and now, you are going to dissect it onto (possibly) one page?
Quote Doc Emmet Brown: “Great Scott!”
There are millions of sites with Synopsis tips and examples. I strongly recommend that you have a look. Some links that I found useful:
So now comes bits and pieces from what I have learnt.
An image to support the awesome tweeters of #Stabbylove created by me.
As said by the one that brought the stabby to our editing minds:
“#stabbylove is something we created to justify being stabby towards idiots & douches. It’s where we hang out. Like pubwrite. But stupid. Yep”
Here is the cleaner definition: Stabbylove is helping a writer set his manuscript on fire and then helping him rewrite it. Because it was that bad. And I can’t lie. Out of love.
The General Definition Stabbylove is telling your best friend that yes, that dress makes her bum look big. Because she needs to know, and you love her.
Stabbylove is about providing honest feedback with the genuine intention of helping someone to improve or fix something.