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Monthly Archives: April 2013

What’s in a Focal Point?

Tweet When you see a book, a photo, or a webpage, your eyes seem to instantly see it all. In reality, there’s always something you look at first before moving onto the next object a millisecond later. Often our eyes start at the top left corner of the page because, through multiple millennia, we’ve trained most of […]

What a Bunch of Characters!

Today, we’re going to talk about the lovely people who populate your stories and how you need to figure them out before you dive into their story. After all, you’re going to have a much easier time staying in character and moving these characters along to the climactic conclusion of their tale if you’ve spent time beforehand figuring out who they are….

Love in an Elevator

Tweet We’ve had the pleasure of targeting (or, to be more realistic, eliminating) the largest swathe of readers with BISAC. We’ve also re-visited how cover and promotional copy will hook specific readers once your category has narrowed them significantly. Today, though, I want to talk about how to hook someone’s interest. And this person doesn’t […]

Backstory: The Untold Story

Tweet One of my favorite things about being a writing coach is that I get to come up with my own terminology, and I can make it as serious or as frivolous as I like. My unofficial list of rules of writing, which I’ll have to make official one of these days, is called “Thomas’s […]

Keeping It Consistent

Tweet We’ve covered and emphasized and delved into the whys of good book cover design for the individual book. But what about your second or third book? Even though you attracted readers to previous books, you can’t slack off on the book cover design, hoping your name or your series’ popularity will carry you along. […]

What Is “Hidden Story,” and Why Do You Need One?

Today we’re going to discuss a part of your novel you might not even be aware exists. This elusive element of your writing is called the “hidden story,” and it’s essential to delivering a tale that will keep your readers up way past their bedtimes.

Guts and Bolts: An Immodest Proposal

Tweet As you’ve probably noticed, this month we’re looking at non-fictional books quite a lot. This turned out to be a really spectacular marketing opportunity because, in looking at non-fic books, I discovered that they are the Holy Grail of book marketing how-tos. Do you disbelieve me? Let me take you on a tour through […]

The Characters in Flux

Tweet There’s a certain amount of method acting to the madness of creating our characters. We have to understand them inside and out, then embrace the actions and dialogue that fit their personalities even if they aren’t what we authors would necessarily want for them. This leads us to the most important aspect of character […]

Who’s Your Reader? Designing Your Cover for Your Target Market (Part 2)

Tweet Last week we scratched the surface of what a target market is. I introduced you to the concept of demographics and psychographics of finding your reader audience. But how does knowing your demographic info translate into a cover design? It’s one thing to know who would be interested in your book, but another to […]

(W)riting, Relationships, and Romance

Tweet Greetings, lovely people! This week at Unstressed Syllables, we’re focusing on contemporary romance and chick lit. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that these aren’t my wheelhouse genres. So, I’m kicking off the romance by sharing with you a few tidbits I’ve picked up from expert Nora Roberts*. Just Tell the Story “My […]