We did beginnings last week, so we thought we’d pay tribute to endings this time around… 🙂 Many authors rush through the ending of their book, because by the time they get there, they’re sick of the whole concept… But your ending is what will lead readers onto your next book, so you need to spend as much time on your ending as your beginning! If you write a fizzer that ends too quickly or doesn’t deliver on your promises throughout the story, you’re not going to get lifetime readers who follow your every move.
With this in mind, we talk about chapter endings, and endings for the whole book. We give some ideas on what we do to make sure our endings are as good as we can make them, and give a few tips and tricks on creating the best ending you can!
What’s with Cheryl writing the ending before she gets there! Odd right? It’s not all that uncommon surprisingly. Plenty of writers do it! Remember, no one shoe fits all in this game.
The ending is vital because it is what will make your reader want to buy the next book. You must leave them feeling like they want more!
HEA = Happy Ever After ending. Marriage, life-long love, yadda yadda
HFN = Happy For Now ending. No actual promise of happily every after, but the reader is left with a happy and uplifting note.
Remember the ending is the payoff for the rest of the book. It must make sense to the reader. The characters can’t turn around in the last few pages and do something completely out of character from their behavior in the rest of the book. It has to tie in, and the end is the culmination of all those things, like internal and external conflict, finding a resolution.
Remember, know the rules of romance, if you want to break the rules!
DON’T DISAPPOINT YOUR READER.
We want to relate to the characters also. We want to know that whatever hell we the writers have put them through, they will resolve it and continue to do so in their lives.
Leslie Wanger the writer of Writing Romance for Dummies says – too often the real story ends with the last chapter, but the author adds an epilog just to show the characters have married and their lives are fine. I find this to be anticlimactic.
Wendy sometimes writes her endings on the second draft.
Chapter endings are also important. They will make your reader keep turning the page. Use things like;
Climax, changing viewpoints, dialogue, cliff hangers, and emotional tension.
But remember, what you want to achieve is the need for the reader to keep reading!
-If you are not happy with a chapter ending, then look at changing to another person’s point of view. Sometimes it’s best to use the character who has the most, emotionally, to lose.
In honour of Valentine’s Day, the SPA Girls fought it out to come up with our list of the Best Romance Novels of All Time. Listen to this episode to see if you agree with our choices… 🙂
Ransom, Julie Garwood http://amzn.to/2kNvpph
Angels Fall, Nora Roberts http://amzn.to/2kNHuLd
Mine Til Midnight, Lisa Kleypas http://amzn.to/2kTNzrW
The Duchess War, Courtney Milan http://amzn.to/2kYJ7YA
These Old Shades, Georgette Heyer http://amzn.to/2kxBXtD
Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell http://amzn.to/2kYHeLq
Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen http://amzn.to/2kTWJ7T
Mercenary Instinct, Ruby Lionsdrake http://amzn.to/2lwwqlC
Bridget Jones’ Diary, Helen Fielding http://amzn.to/2k8A2gG
Outlander/Cross Stitch, Diana Gabaldon http://amzn.to/2kxLCRf
Me Before You, Jo Jo Moyes http://amzn.to/2kYSw2u
Ain’t She Sweet, Marie Force http://amzn.to/2kNBrXc
Devil’s Bride, Stephanie Laurens http://amzn.to/2kTTxch
Dream Man, Linda Howard http://amzn.to/2lwDmiX
Slave To Sensation, Nalini Singh http://amzn.to/2kYZaWy
Secrets On The Sand, Roxanne St Claire http://amzn.to/2lpB5Jt
This week we decided to talk about etiquette for authors; or how to talk to other authors, your fans and your service providers, especially online.
It’s easy to get carried away, to start acting badly in the online space, and we wanted to give you a few tips on how to keep your online relationships strong and healthy. It’s all about treating people as you would like to be treated yourself – a good mantra to use everywhere in your life. 🙂
Be kind to each other. Respect the differences in all of us.
Dealing with people face to face is entirely different from online. Face to face, you can read both body language and expressions. You can see if you are boring them to tears of if you have insulted them!
Online is different. The tone we think we are putting into a post does not always appear that way to someone else, and your meaning can be misconstrued.
If you don’t want it written on your front gate, don’t put it out there (Social media platforms)
You may write the same genre as another writer you know, and that’s great, but your views may differ. Respect each other, and if you have a difference of opinion or don’t relate well to another person, then keep your distance. Do not even think about slandering them online! It will be there for a very long time if you regret it… and you will.
If you have never contacted another writer before, and suddenly appear up on their FB page, asking them to review or promote your book, that’s not a good look. Be a good community member, and others will start to reciprocate. Make contact first, or post positive responses to their posts.
Don’t do to others what you would hate done to you.
If something gets you hot under the collar, sleep on your reply. Don’t retaliate while you’re angry because once it’s out there, you can’t take it back!
Tim Grahl says, ‘be relentlessly helpful!’
Be kind to your readers. They’ve taken the time to buy and read your book, take the time to thank them if they contact you.
Don’t respond to reviews! Good or bad, just leave them alone. There is no win there for you, especially when you are defending your book against a negative comment.
If you are paying someone to do work for you, then pay them on time!!! Also, treat them with respect. This is vital in this industry. If you are using a service provider, again and again, they will be more likely to help you with a deadline, rush job, if you have respected and paid them on time.
If your cover designer, editor or whatever, is asking for information from you, then give it in a concise way. They are not going to read your book, so you tell them what you want.
Do your due diligence, find out what kind of edit you want, and how it works. What should it cost? Make sure you have this information, and then there will be no surprises when the product is ready, and you are invoiced.
Remember Karma – good or bad luck, viewed as resulting from one’s actions.
Be a good community member!
This week the SPA Girls chat to three experienced authors – two Indie authors, and one traditionally published author – about their writing tips, their favourite technology as a writer, and why they all say you need to find your writing tribe to succeed.
Join us as we get the inside story from contemporary romance author Talia Hunter, pacific billionaire romance author Toni Kenyon, and author of 35 Harlequin romances Yvonne Lindsay in this hilarious, informative, and insightful episode into the life of an author. If you don’t come away from listening to this episode with a grin on your face, I’ll eat my hat.
Yvonne Lindsay (USA today bestselling author) – http://yvonnelindsay.com/
Talia Hunter – http://www.taliahunter.com/
Toni Kenyon – http://www.tonikenyon.com/
This week we’re joined by the lovely Kelly McClymer, an indie author who writes in multiple genres, including historical romance, fantasy and cosy mystery. She tells us the story of how she got into self publishing, the kind of marketing and promotion she does for her books, and talks about what she’s been doing in the last week or so in an attempt to get her book onto the USA Today Bestseller list, for her historical romance book, The Next Best Bride. This is a fantastic interview with another smart, savvy indie author!
Kelly has been writing for a very long time. In the beginning, she was writing short science fiction, but couldn’t sell them and feels that she didn’t understand marketing at the time. So, she moved on to Romance with Kensington and when this finished Kelly asked for her rights back. Eventually this happened for 7 books and in 2010 she self-published.
There’s a lot of fun to have control over your own books, but she only had paper copies (digital wasn’t around then) so she had to scan paper copies and clean them up before she could publish. It was an adventure which took some time. She did not rebrand at that time.
It took a year to get them out and Kelly still hadn’t figured on a strategy. She loved that so many others had decided on theirs and followed some of it. She feels like there is no good answer on how or when you publish because it depends on how impatient you are.
Kelly worked casually, when she needed money, in interesting jobs but didn’t choose things that paid well so she didn’t get lured into not writing.
Now Kelly writes Historical, Cozy Mysteries and Fantasy and likes to read and write different things. She also needs more than one project on the go.
For her cozy mysteries she takes note of place and people in towns but never uses people in the town or specific places rather a whole lot of these things put together.
Fantasy series – a series of serializations based on fairy tales, myths and pre-history. Finding it difficult to Doesn’t build a tribe but is talking to people to do this for her.
After 10 years, has Kelly has found a co-writer for her 8th historical romance as she’s not good at love scenes.
Uses her own name in all genres – easier to market and keep up to date on social media and good for branding. Keeps lists separate for different genres. Loves technology and automation.
Loves Vellum – worth the cost and prettier than word.
Would prefer to do no marketing but understands that she must do it. Kelly stumbled looking for readers, doesn’t like twitter as she only shares and read things that are cool and interesting.
Facebook is hard for her too, but is starting a Facebook group so that she can make it easy to talk to people. They can also talk to each other and have a sense of community.
Formed an LLC to do their own marketing, via newsletter, website, put out anthologies together to see what works and doesn’t work.
Kelly reads marketing strategies to keep up. Smart people tell her what to do, and she knows she should use their advice, and plans to with her next book promotion.
She’s had a couple of booboo ads already, but they were for free books and she doesn’t recommend doing bookbub for box sets because you can’t do more promotions on those books for 6 months.
Kelly McClymer to do list to get to the best seller list:
Get as many sales on that reporting week.
Advertise – put price down the week before
Try to get a couple of reviews.
Get the biggest ads you can get.
Be specific in asking people for help. Comment on Facebook, buy my book, send to friends who may like my work.
Run a contest for your list.
Try to get I-books, Barnes and Noble to help.
Create a template letter.
To try to achieve a Best Seller list Kelly has just hired an assistant.
Kelly’s advice to newbies:
Don’t give up on your older work. Give your readers a chance to find your older books. Give them a new life with a new cover and freshen up.
Be patient. It may take time to hit a list or have a large fan base, but it can happen.
Recognize that it’s a business and if you do the marketing the right way it can be fun but readers will not stumble over it. Be proud of your own books and put money into it.
Don’t be surprised when something you have been doing suddenly stops working.
The Next Best Bride is Kelly’s latest book, and the one she hopes to hit the USA Today Bestseller list.
If you want to help Kelly with her attempt to get her book into the bestseller list, please follow this link and buy her book! Thanks in advance for your help. 🙂
This week we’re still without the lovely Cheryl, so we decided to do another interview, this time with Tracey Alvarez, who lives in Wellington, New Zealand and writes contemporary romance based in New Zealand. I (Trudi Jaye) met Tracey in person at RWA in San Diego this year, and had a great time hanging out with her and Talia Hunter (who did a couple of recordings with me while we were there). As you’ll see from the interview, Tracey is also a very knowledgeable indie author, with heaps of pro tips to share. This is another ‘don’t-miss’ episode!