How to Become a Powerful Storyteller

How powerful of a storyteller are you? Every author and writer could use tips and tricks for crafting their stories. It’s about maximizing your impact on readers. It’s important to write engaging and entertaining stories that will captivate and hold readers attention. You want them to come back for more.

How to become a powerful storyteller

1. Get in touch with your emotions and transfer them to your characters. Think about your characters and what emotions they would feel and have.

2. Who are your characters? What do you know that they don’t?

3. Stay in the moment and hold onto it.

4. Go inward to connect outward.

5. Step in and out of your characters.

6. Get into the moment and feel the emotion of it.

7. Silence is golden and can make a strong presence.

8. Think about the body language of your characters. Do they slouch or stand up straight? Do they cross or fold their arms? Is their face contorted?

9. Be comical! Everyone can benefit from laughter.

10. Do exaggerate. For example, think about how Oprah introduced her guests. When she introduced guests she wouldn’t say, “Please welcome John Travolta.” She would say, “Come Out, Jooooooooohn Trrrrraaaavoooolta.”

11. Don’t forget about branding your message. Use a catchy phrase that will stick in the minds of readers.

12. Be an authentic author. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable.

13. Don’t play it safe. Be a bold and daring author/writer. Go deep and be precise in your writing. Don’t hold back.

14. Love yourself and your readers. Remember, they buy your books and other merchandise.

15. Be the amazing author/writer you know you can be.

16. Your manuscript will set you free. Keep writing and rewriting your manuscript until it is spot on!

17. Write, edit, proofread and read your story. Put it aside for a while and come back to it. Give yourself a break. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in one day.

Rebecca

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7 Easy Steps to Writing a Book Fast

Did you know that you can write your book in 8-weeks or less? Obviously, you want to write a quality book; however, you want to write it fast. The faster you write your book, the quicker it gets into the hand of your target market.

Think about the following questions:

  • What is your passion?
  • What would you like to write about?

For example, if you’re a writer who’s also a parent of an autistic teenager, you may be interested in providing parenting advice for parents of autistic teenagers. Brainstorm for ideas. As a parent of an autistic teenager, what difficulties do you face? What challenges does your teenage face every day? What difficulties does an autistic teenager face in the 21st century? Break it down until you have a niche or theme. Once you know this, you can write your book in no time.

7 Easy Steps to Writing a Book Fast

1. Be clear on the BIG idea of your book. The theme of your book will become the brand. It’s imperative to drill down your idea and get to the core of it. Think about the following: who, what, when, where, why, and how. Put your journalist “cap” on and answer these questions. Once you have your “big” idea or theme, you’re ready to write your book.

2. Use a model aka guideline. Who are your favorite authors? What did they write? Visit a bookstore or library and find books by your favorite authors. Read through the books and take notes. How are the chapters structured? How many pages is each chapter? Is there a resource page for readers? Choose a book and imitate it — use it as a guideline to write your book.

3. Use the number “7”. This is a good number for TV and radio segments. If you’re using your book to obtain speaking engagements, producers will be happy your book is “7 Fill in the Blank.” It’s easy for you to speak about, and the audience will be able to remember “7 Fill in the Blank.”

4. Speak your book. You can speak your book and have it transcribed or you could use software such as DragonNaturally Speaking software or Windows Speech Recognition for Vista and Windows 7. Simply activate the software and speak your book. The alternative is to use a service like iDictate. Speak your book into your iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, or voice recording device and have it transcribed for you (sent via email).

5. Don’t edit your book while you write it. If you’re a freelance/ghost writer, you may be tempted to edit while you write. Write your book then go back and edit. Of course, you could hire an editor to edit your book. This takes the pressure off of you.

6. Test out your idea on your target market. Join groups and social media websites where you can ‘test’ out your BIG book idea. Ask for feedback on your idea. What’s attractive about it? How do others react to it? Gather enough information to ascertain if your BIG book idea will work or needs to be tweaked.

7. Write! You’ve heard this before — write all of the time. Schedule your writing during the week and on weekends. Even if you write for one hour day, you’ll make progress. Keep writing and say “No” when you have to. Family and friends need to understand that you’re serious about your writing dream and goal.

Writing your book doesn’t have to take months or years. Give yourself a deadline along with a consequence if you don’t finish your book on time. Keep in mind that you can always update your book by producing new versions. Windows does this all of the time as does WordPress. Your first book could be “version 1” and the next book can be “version 2” and so on. Look for a ‘print on demand’ book company which means your book won’t be printed until orders have been received. It’s a great way to get started as an author.

Good Luck!
Rebecca

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How Many Pseudos Does an Author Need?

books

You may be surprised to discover that your favorite authors use more than one pseudo. Best Selling Author Nora Roberts publishes under J.D. Robb. Jayne Ann Krentz uses pseudos such as Jayne Castle, Jayne Taylor, Jayne Bentley, Amanda Quick, Stephanie James, and Amanda Glass. Dean Koontz has 11. That’s a lot of pseudos! Is it necessary to use one or more pseudos aka pen names? What’s the benefit? What are the drawbacks of using a pen name? How complicated is it? Let’s find out.

Benefits of using pseudos

1. You get to disguise who you are. Perhaps, your family and friends would be flabbergasted to find out you write erotic, romance novels. Maybe you write science fiction novels but your family wouldn’t approve because they don’t believe in such things. Writing under a pen name could give you peace of mind.

2. You may have a ‘huge’ following in one genre such as mystery and but don’t want to disappoint fans who may not understand why you’re writing a children’s picture book series.

3. If you’re collaborating on a novel series, you may want to use a pseudo. This is a good way to keep your writings separate from the collaboration.

4. Your boss may not be thrilled to know you’re moonlighting as an author. Using a pseudo will keep everyone happy.

5. A pseudo or pen name may carry more ‘weight’ than your birth name. This may not be easy to hear but think about Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain. Which name do you gravitate towards? Which name screams Best-Selling Author?

How to select and use a pseudo aka pen name?

1. Brainstorm for names. After you have a list of 10 names, check with the U.S. Copyright Records; the white pages (if you still receive them), peruse the internet and other information websites. Make sure you don’t select the name of another writer.

Once you find a name you like, try it out. Create a ‘mock’ book cover in Power Point, InDesign, Word or some other program. Step back and look at the name on the cover. How do you feel about it? Do you like it? Can you imagine being introduced at a book signing as (fill in the blank)? Ask supportive family, friends, etc. to look at your book cover — get their reaction. Ultimately, it’s your decision. But feedback can assist you with selecting the ‘right’ pen name.

2. Even if you use a pseudo, readers could find out who you are. Look at Nora Roberts who publishers under J.D. Robb. I found out she was J.D. Robb because my mom told me; she’s an avid reader of her books. When I found out Nora published under J.D. Robb my reaction was, “Who know?” Obviously, I didn’t. Make sure you’re comfortable with readers knowing that you publish under pseudos.

3. Consult with an attorney to see if you must register your pen name as a DBA (doing business as) with your municipality. Remember, cities, states and countries have different laws.

4. You’re allowed to register copyrights under a pen name. However, the time frame of a copyright with your name is your life + 70 years. If you publish with a pseudo it’s the shorter of 95 years from the publication or 120 years from the creation. This can be tricky business — consult a copyright attorney. Know your rights!

5. Sometimes, processing advances and royalties is complicated when you use a pseudo. Make sure you fully understand the process. Again, consult with an attorney and ask the publisher to explain their advance and royalty payment policies and procedures.

If you choose to use a pseudo or pen name, make sure it’s for the right reasons. If you’re trying to escape paying taxes, forget about it. You’ll have to pay them. If you want to ‘blast’ your enemies or naysayers, you can still get caught and face libel and slander charges. Meditate or ponder ‘why‘ you want to use a pen name before you select and use one. It can be fun to use a pseudo, but isn’t the point of publishing to see YOUR NAME in print. It’s something to think about.

Rebecca

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