The first sentence lures the reader in. Short, concise, and reeking promise of adventure, it is soon forgotten and now the challenge begins. “You have my attention, now what?” the reader asks. Hook after hook, each sentence sucks her deeper into the realm of you story. Away from reality that’s where you want her. That’s where she’s most vulnerable, but also the most receptacle to the ebbs and tides of the conflict in your prose, to the mysteries and hints you drop to solve them, to emotions… This is your chance to make her fall in love.
But sometimes love is not enough. Is your character believable? Can the reader see him clearly? Can she hear him? Is he the type to grab her hand and take her for a ride or drag her into the woods? Can he get her to frown or grin? Can he make her laugh with joy? Grunt with anger? Cry with pain? Moan with pleasure? Dance? Can he teach her a lesson she would never forget? Can he make it hard to say goodbye?
What of the other elements of your story? A plot knit as tight as a grip for life, twists and turns that make the reader lose her ground, dialogue that flows like music, descriptions that engage all the senses, supporting characters with major influences, interwinding conflicts that seem to never end, a simple resolution that makes the perfect sense, and seamless details that make all the difference.
Don’t forget the setting, genre, mood, theme, tone, the sequence of time, the turn of phrase, pace…
You can argue about how all these things pale to the importance of a great story, but they got you reading this far. Which is why I created a blog to help upcoming writers with those skills and more.
My name is M.B. Keen and writing is a hobby that I sought to develop since a very young age— seven to be precise. For the longest time, my audience was limited to myself, my mom, my teachers, some of my close friends, and later on my creative writing tutor. I started a blog and gained a slow but steady following where I documented my writing journey which mostly consisted of rejection letters at the time. So you can imagine my joy, and the joy of my readers, when one of my short stories finally got published. Another short story, a few articles, and children’s poems followed. I was getting published frequently (under several pen names as I was not set on one yet) and my blog had more than a few rejection sob stories to offer.
The turning point came when I started writing my first novel. Documenting the journey was not only motivating for others but for me as well. It was a great learning experience, although the outcome of the novel itself was far less than great in my opinion.
In 2014, personal circumstances rendered me bedridden with depression. During that period, my only solace was my writing and that was when I wrote the the first book in the children’s book series I’m currently working on. The novel is about a young boy living in a dark town who is forced to hide his talents from his family and society for fear of being prosecuted. It follows his journey of growth and understanding as he tries to find a way to escape the oppressive society he lives in while also trying to make a difference in it. But with the perils surrounding the town, the only thing more dangerous than staying is trying to run away. I’m currently writing the second book in this series.
Note: I’m currently seeking agent representation.
By sharing my journey and documenting the writing process, I hope to teach, motivate, and even inspire writers to laugh at my shortcomings. This blog will feature tips on novel, script, short story and article writing, as well as editing, proofreading and marketing your work. I will also be posting book reviews, handy products and software for writers, and other resources.
If you have a product or book you’d like me to review, or a listing you’d like me to post, please don’t hesitate to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com I also welcome guest posts!
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