Serum Brewing....

After a couple years of dormancy, the blog is back in action.
Genadron: The Prelude has received many applause as well as severe critics. Encouragement to continue writing was always there, no matter what. And that's why I am getting back with the unfinished business of The Spirit Serum.
Expect an update soon.

P.S. : I received a few opinions regarding expansion of Genadron The Prelude into an actually full fledged novel instead of the novelette (in case you don't know what a novelette is, please check out this post) that I have already written. Yes. I am considering it and thank you all for your feedback. Ill get into that project once The Spirit Serum is completed.

Thank you all once again. Good day.

Introducing the Main cast of your novel

First things first.
This short article regarding novel writing tips is a very basic and straight forward one. This one deals about newbies making mistakes in not introducing the main character fast enough. Even I have made this mistake once, and yes, it was not a good feedback I got.

For this basic knowledge, picture yourself as a reader while writing your novel. What does a reader think about while reading the book? When you read books what are you curious about? What are the questions you ask yourself when you start flipping through the pages? I'm sure some of the questions are going to be:

  • Who is the main character?

  • Who is the sub-character (and maybe the sidekick)?

  • Who the hell is the villain?

These are just some of the questions that arise in the mind of a reader when he starts to read something out of your book. I know there might be many other questions too, but for the sake of this article, let's take these.

Dealing with the questions.

You may introduce in whichever order you please. Villian first or hero first. Or maybe a sub-character first. That's purely your creativity and the way you handle your plot.

I did a research in my online novel of introducing a few non-related characters first and moving step-by-step towards the main character. Check it out here. One thing I did take care of was expressing the trivial role of the character in question. Yes, if you are using the tactics of using not-so-important characters first, then make sure that they do not get enough importance. Some ways to do this:

  • Do not give detailed physical description.

  • Show that they are not needed for future use. (eg: both of my not so important characters died at the end of their scenes.)

  • Do not make the reader get emotionally attached.
  • Using the emotional attachment of the reader is very vital for the novel writing process. Actually, it's one of the main reader-book interaction that makes a novel a success. But make sure you use that kind of a thing only with the main characters.

  • If at all he does something heroic, make it less important using your words. Novel writing is a craft of words, master it.

  • Whatever your novel writing plans are, this is one of the tagline of novel writing success: Don't forget to introduce the main characters fast enough. Because the first impression really matters.

    So the conclusion for this inward novel writing tip:
    There is no rule that you should introduce the main character first (even though that would be a better idea). If at all your plot makes you to introduce that sub-character, it's ok. Do it. But on one condition that you must not write anything in a way that an invisble feeling in the mind of the reader projects that sub-character as the main character. That's not a good idea- at least for newbies.

    The First impression really matters: A novel writing tip

    The Very First Impression of your Novel
    It is generally said that wherever you go in your life you must leave your mark. The first mark you leave is the one that is usually taken into consideration- especially in a field like novel writing. In the world of novel writing, you tend to leave your mark on the minds of publshers and agents. Here the first mark definitely refers to the first impression.

    So who is going to get the first impression here?
    Mainly three important people:
    1. Your Agent
    2. Your Publisher
    3. Your readers

    Is the first impression really important in novel writing?

    In the modern world of logic and computers, the first impression issues are common only in a few handful of fields. One of these fields is novel writing. It can make or break your career. How is it all about the impression? Let's see: the first impression of your novel is the impression you make in the minds of publisher/agent. This impression decides the fate of your novel as it is this very first impression that decides which publisher gets to publish your book- and hence the popularity of your book; which in turn leads to your success.

    The judgement of your novel's first impression.

    So, you are very well aware of the importance of impression in the field of novel writing- so naturally the question to ask here is: how do these guys ever judge me? How do the agents or publishers get the first impression. Defenitely not the size of your book! Now that you have asked about the first impression setters, here is the answer:
    1. The first four pages of your book
    2. The title
    3. The back-cover

    So how do we create a wonderful first impression in novel writing?

    Simply by taking utmost care in fabricating the above three areas of your novel.
    1.Take time and revise your first four pages.
    2. Brainstorm for a great variety of titles. Get a list of eye catching titles and learn from the examples, let your creativity loose(Tips to let your creativity loose).
    3. Read a lot of back covers of your favorite books. It'll help you get an insight. Try the six step method as a base to develop your back cover.

    Any more tips? Share it in the Comments section.

    The Six Step Method to Create the Back-cover Summary

    This small article is to teach you how to make the back-cover summary of your novel. The six step back cover creation is based on the synopsis of your novel. For that, you need to know what exactly a novel synopsis is. If you know how to create a perfect synopsis, then creating a back-cover summary is terribly easy. Check out the previous article on 9 Tips to write a Thrilling Novel Synopsis.

    A back cover summary has the follwing six elements:
    1. The main character
    2. The begginning of quest
    3. The main conflict
    4. The disaster
    5. The Recovery
    6. The climax

    The effective interlinking and transition from one element to the other gives you the best back-cover summary. Here are some pointers to help you out:
    1. While writing about the main character, try not to give detailed descriptions, but the identity of the character involved.
    2. Do not give long introduction, just one line for 'how the main character gets involved with the plot'
    3. Main conflict- only the main part. There might be numerous conflicts, just try to choose the two most important ones. Preferably one internal conflict and one external conflict.
    4. Your story needs to have a disaster in it. Pick a couple of disasters and sew it in. Do not describe it, just one sentence will suffice.
    5. The disaster should have a recovery part too. How the main character recovers from the disaster should be made note of.
    6. Do not break suspences, but just tell how the story ends. Whether in favor or not. The type of ending, or the manner of 'the End'.

    Write the back-cover summary in your own words. Then re-write it until you have squeezed the first draft into five or six lines.

    Tricks to unleash the creativity loose

    Only a creative mind can write wonderful novels. Novel writing is a career chosen by many, but only a fraction of the writers turn out to be actual successful novelists.
    The world outside is full of realism- it is reality, and the novelist's main job is to use it and make another creative one. Only the novelists who were successful in bringing changes were regarded as true novelists. Their names are written on the rock, it's hard to forget them.

    For anything that can make a reader escape from the reality into a fictional world, you need creativity. The only novels that doesn't need creativity are non-fiction and reference books. Creativity stimulates the human brain and transports the reader into a trance.

    Now the big question: How to unleash th creativity?

    Here are some tips to get the best out of you:
    1. Try some meditation
    2. Different Yoga positions stimulate your mind and body
    3. Go out for a walk and have some fresh air.
    4. Quit writing for a few days
    5. Watch a fantasy or other fictious movie (avoid ones with lots of realism and drama)
    6. Take a long bath and relax, if possible visit a spa.
    7. Go to some amusement park
    8. Read a lot of books, both from the genre of the novel you are working on and off it.
    9. Involve in sports.
    10. Involve in music
    11. Go Social!

    1. Meditation sets your mind straight. It helps you calm down and think more, increasing the efficiancy of your mind and body. Try this link to know more about meditation.

    2. Yoga positions also help you to think more effectively by boosting your body. Main trick here is to increae the circulation to brain and think freely. Dan Brown says that he uses a machine to invert his whole body to boost his thinking abilities.

    3.There's nothing more easier than taking a walk out, maybe with your dog, and get some fresh air. Just leave your mind open to the nature. Observe the flora and fauna, hear the birds chirp, smell the nature, feel the sun and the wind.

    4.Some people find it very effective to take a break from the writing schedule. But some others, like me, loses the potential to be creative when the break extends over a week. Find the right break time suited for you and plan wisely.

    5. Movies are one fine product of creativity. There's nothing more logical than learning creativity from another piece of creativity. Movies helps us wonder(so be choosy about the movies you watch) and get your writing morale boosted with more movies you see. Try to avoid the ones with a lot of drama and things like documentaries, etc. Those ones might not help as you think it may.

    6. Unless you are allergic to bathing, you may try this trick of taking a long relaxing bath. Water running over through the body can be realxing and it defenitely clears some dead thoughts and freshens you up.

    7. Amusement parks are one place where you can lose yourself and involve in something extremely different from the boring daily routine. Go take some rollercoaster rides and be active.

    8.Try joining a reading club or take a reading list which involves good books from many genres. I specifically said 'genres' because it is essential that you do not stick to only a single genre.

    9. Sports stimulate the body. Try involving in some sports like a game of catch with your kids or a game of basketball with your friends. Don't get over exhausted. Do the sport that you like the most.

    10. Involve in the waves of music. Music has proven itself to open up your mind and unchain the creativity. Listen to your favorite band. If you have an instrument, play it. Try composing some simple tunes. It can help you write your novel better.

    11. Last but not the least- no man can stand as an island. You need family and friends. Try talking to your spouse/ siblings/ kids. Take them out. Get yourself involved. That ll really help you freshen up when you get back to your writing pad/ wordprocessor.

    Have more tricks that you use for boosting your creativity? Share it in the comments section. I'd love to know more.

    10 Step method to do a wonderful revision of your manuscript

    Revising your manuscript is one of the easiest parts if done correctly and systematically. The conventional method goes like this: you read a chapter, tweak the ideas spelling and grammar mistakes and polish the text. Sometimes you fill in some facts some jokes and make it look attractive.Then you sit back and appreciate.

    Next? Something inside you says that it's not yet perfect. You read, re-read, find some itty-bit and then read again. Finally you come up with a perfectly written manuscript. And that's the end of revision- at least that's what you think before reading the entire thing again and finding the same old feeling creeping back into your brains.

    You might have observed that while reading it over and over again, you get lesser and lesser mistakes. Finally a point comes when you have the feeling that something is wrong but you can diagnose the trouble. That's what you call a 'revision block', just a fancy name- nothing else.

    How to solve a Revision Block?

    Simple policy that can help you conquer any mass of unedited text: Divide and Rule. Divide your revision into various administrative blocks and observe the text from each block. In simpler and more understandable words, look for only one type of mistake each time you revise.

    Its purely your choice to identify which type of mistakes you should start with. Just don't stat with spelling and Grammar. Leave it for the last, till a point comes when you wont be writing chunks of text or ideas into your draft. Here is the standard order for revising your draft. You may or may not follow this, its purely up to you.

    10 Step method to do a wonderful revision:

    1. Remove the fluffy fat.
    2. Create hooks and magnets.
    3. Add Suspense.
    4. Balance of elements
    5. Build in more character attributes.
    6. Repetitions of thoughts and ideas.
    7. Repetitions of words.
    8. Comb out inconsistencies.
    9. Grammatical errors.
    10. Spelling Errors and Typos.

    1. Remove the fluffy fat.
    First of all, let your manuscript do some dieting. I know you want a big book with lot of words sprawling from page to page. But what is the use of an obese book with less interesting stuff? Anything and everything that doesn't add to the storyline if fat. Anything that is not involved in the main plot is unnecessary. Cut it out- ruthlessly.

    2. Create hooks and magnets.
    Somewhere, things need to be bright and should hook the reader. If you find a place where you can add some hooks, just do it.

    3. Add Suspense.
    Everyone likes a book full of suspense. Suspense kills boredom. Suspense makes the reader love your book. Try to add suspense. Try to end each chapter with a small suspense; it'll look great.

    4. Balance of elements
    Examine each page for balance between action and reaction. Is it up and running? Are the dialogs catchy? Is there the appropriate self-contemplation and descriptive paragraphs? If its not there, add it, keeping in mind that it should complement with the storyline and the plot.

    5. Build in more character attributes.
    Try to express more insights into your character details if you get a chance.

    6. Repetitions of thoughts and ideas- weed it out!

    7. Repetitions of words.
    Some words tend to repeat often. Maybe you have a special affinity to those words, but its not necessary that the reader should have the same affinity. Don't bore them with unnecessary repetitions.

    8. Comb out inconsistencies.
    In the novel, you propose many ideas and thoughts. Make sure all the propositions are true at the same time. Don't make two propositions such that one proves that the other one is wrong.

    9. Grammatical errors.
    You don't need to have a PhD in English grammar. Just do the basics correctly. Grammar doesn't count much to the success of story. You're not teaching the readers about proper English. You're just telling a story- that's it.

    10. Spelling Errors and Typos.
    Yep, that's the last part of editing.

    Swapping POVs: How to Switch from one POV to Another without a jolt

    Swapping or switching POVs is a simple task- nothing very special about it. Yet, it is one of the most frequently neglected areas- and trust me, this simple rule that I am about to share is one of the must-do things while writing a novel. Next time you pick up your stuff and settle down to write something wonderful, remember this website, this article and the very simple trick that I am going to teach.

    I know that I have mentioned the rule Maintain a single POV character per scene- or per chapter in the article 'Cardinal Rules on How to Establish the Right Point of View'. There I have told that you shouldn't switch POVs within a scene. Alright so you can switch POVs while changing scenes- but how do you do them.

    Here I'm going to tell three points to take care of while switching POV within a chapter.
    1. Warning: Speed Breaker Ahead
    2.Show Them The Speed Breaker
    3.Please Don't Test my Patience!

    1. Warning: Speed Breaker Ahead
    Well, the reader is going on a fast lane while reading through your novel. Let's say the scene involving Finnigan as the POV character is quite long. So the reader is now going at a high speed. When you switch the POV to Luigi's then the situation be compared to that of a speed breaker. So we must warn the reader that there is a speed breaker ahead.

    Warning that you going to switch to Luigi soon can be given by slowly turning the spotlight towards Luigi. Let's see the first paragraph of the previous example:

    "Finnigan was with rage, his teeth clenched and fists balled. 'Go- get lost!,' he uttered. There wasn't mush of shouting work done. The next moment, an involuntary force made his hands thrust forwards, driving Luigi towards the door. The latter merely scurried away from his push."

    Attention is being diverted to Luigi. That's the first thing to be done- but it's not always possible. In that case I guess you can't do anything but to forget about warning your reader.

    2.Show them the Speed Breaker:
    How to show them? Simple enough- Create one and show. Use separators to show the switching of character. Well, in case you don't know, a separator is: '***' or '*****'. That's it- it's that simple.

    "Finnigan was with rage, his teeth clenched and fists balled. 'Go- get lost!,' he uttered. There wasn't mush of shouting work done. The next moment, an involuntary force made his hands thrust forwards, driving Luigi towards the door. The latter merely scurried away from his push.
    Luigi snickered as he opened the door to let himself out. The news seemed to have a hard impact on the lawyer's mind; yet he couldn't hide his surprise at Finn's reaction. A guy like Finn would have at least pulled out his gun without thinking much- he had expected more action, not a drab delirium. He heard an broken cry behind the door, before it clicked shut."

    See? It's that simple to show that there is a POV switch!

    3.Please Don't Test my Patience!
    Sure- don't test the reader's patience by making a fuss about the suspense. Just as the new scene pops in- let your POV character pop in as fast as possible. Because once the reader had slowed down next to a speed breaker, and now he/she needs to pick up the speed.

    Switching from one POV to another without a jolt is one of the points where the experienced reader gets an idea of the standard of the author. Also during the publisher's scrutiny, amateur writers are exposed in this way. There will be an irresistible temptation to step out of your POV character. Just resist that temptation and you'll find your story getting toned up overall.

    I hope this article really help you out. Don't forget to express your opinions and suggestions.