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Where are your readers?
[ tánjənt ]
- line or surface that touches another: a line, curve, or surface that touches another curve or surface but does not cross or intersect it
Who wants your work?
Is it the people rushing into the local bookstore to find a book they heard about on the radio or from a friend or from a suggestion online? Probably not, unless your book is the one that they are looking for.
Is it the people meandering around the local library, looking at the bestseller list or asking the librarian for suggestions? Nope, again, not unless you are already on the bestseller list or you happen to be friends with the librarian.
Who wants to read your book?
The million dollar question.
Start with the tangent audience, the one off. Make the connections, find the readers.
A tangent audience for a murder mystery that takes place at a vineyard? Wine enthusiasts – try to find a local winery that would let you set up a signing or better yet a reading and a meet and mingle wine tasting.
A tangent audience for a romance with a hero who is an avid bowler? Start at bowl.com and find conferences or events where you can set up a book signing or advertise your book in a bowling magazine.
A tangent audience for a medical drama? Try a medical expo.
Civil War Historical Fiction? Try a Civil War museum.
We all think the best way to find readers is to go where the readers go (bookstores and libraries), but go where the people who are interested in your topic go and then you’ll find the best kinds of readers – ones who are interested in what your book is about.
What is your book about? Tell us in the comments and maybe we can help brainstorm on your tangent audience! I’d love to hear from you.
“There are plenty of bad editors who try to impose their own vision on a book.”
Taking someone else’s story and keeping their ideas, their vision, their voice alive, but cutting away the parts that sneak in to hide the truth in the story – it’s hard work.
It’s rewarding work.
Seeing a story brought out to its fullness – amazing to be a part of that process.
Working on edits and revisions of Melinda McGuire‘s Josephine, and it is an incredible journey.
It does make it easier when there is such a strong foundation to work with, but cutting and re-arranging and adding to and taking away and doing it all in close proximity with the author, discussing each step, playing out the repercussions of the decisions, it is a challenging, rewarding wonderful process.
I don’t have to impose my vision on the book. My role in the process is to help Melinda bring out the vision she has for the characters, for the plot, the setting, the story. So the requirement for me? I have to believe in the author’s vision.
It is an exciting process and one I thoroughly enjoy!
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Do you need prompting?
- Get Your Creative Mojo Going – nothing makes the muse show up like doing the work. No trick to it, just put your rear in the chair, open a blank document or grab a blank sheet of paper and follow where your creativity meets with the prompt.
- Annihilate Writer’s Block – writing prompts seem to give us permission to write crappy, don’t they? There’s no pressure. We may not know anything about the topic in the prompt. It may be completely out of your comfort zone. But if you follow where it leads, magic happens – it’s called giving yourself permission to experiment. This is full of warm, gooey writing goodness.
- A Habit you don’t want to kick – make a date with yourself. Not for a manicure or a matinee or lunch. Make a regular date for yourself to write. Your date – a new writing prompt. Permission granted to start a hot steamy relationship with your prompts.
- Expand your vision – broaden your horizons – a close cousin to #2. If your prompt is about something you don’t know – excellent! Dust off those research skills. Talk to some people who know about that topic. Read some articles. Watch some movies. That pain you feel – that’s your brain expanding. Again, a good thing.
- Gold mine for story nuggets – keep your writing exercises. Keep all of them. Then, after a good long while – six months of writing exercises – go through them. You will be amazed what jumps out at you. You’ll find these little story nuggets – your mining efforts will pay off. There will be foundations for you to build story houses upon. You’ll find strands of your writing that show your unique voice, your turn of a phrase that is so good even you must admit it. You’ll read things that make you stop and think, engage you. You’ll pleasantly surprise yourself. And, then what? KEEP WRITING – of course.
How often do you use writing prompts?
Where do you find your favorite writing prompts?
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How important is your third place to your creative endeavors?
Home, office and ?
Where is your third place?
We have home where we spend time. We have work where we spend time.
And, for most of us, we have our third place – our free space. Our “home away from home” except no dirty dishes or laundry or stacks of paper work or deadlines.
Think of the bar on “Cheers” – a recreational third place.
Think of the Louvre – an inspiring third place.
Libraries, coffee shops, bookstores (my dear friend and colleague, Melinda McGuire says that Good Books in the Woods is the most amazing third place she’s seen in a long while!)
A porch swing with a laptop, a balcony, a basement, a loft, an attic
Do you have to have a third place in order to exercise your creative muscles?
If you don’t have one, do you wish you did?
What would it look like?
Also, all you writerly types out there, be thinking about writing prompts for next time … do you use them? Why? How?
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Prompts, journals, and writing partners
How goes it with you, writers?
Do you use prompts?
Do you journal?
Do you have writing partners?
If you use prompts, do you try to make those connect into something bigger once you reflect on the writing exercise? Or, do the prompts act as a springboard for you – getting your writing muscles stretched and flexible?
If you journal, does that act as your brainstorming session? Or is it more of a diary?
Writing partners – what do you expect from them? What do they expect from you? How do you know you’ve found a “good” one? How do you know you are being helpful?
Also, how do you put aside your own writing endeavors to help others who are writing – and should you?
Sitting here with my editor glasses on, reading through an amazing manuscript, wondering about the writing process for those of you who are actually in the act of opening your veins.
Love to hear from you,
Ann Marie Abelard