Monday, June 13, 2011

Writing in 140: What Makes Your Story So Special?

Great concept, strong beginning, well-developed characters, excellent pacing that builds in conflict and tension, dialogue that reveals, scene development (and I could go on) are important to any story, but you know what’s also important? Doing your homework and seeing where your story fits amongst all the other stories out there. Whether you plan to submit to an agent or publisher or to go the self-publishing route, it is important to know where you fit in the market. What books are out there like yours? Who’s representing them? Who’s publishing them? How are they being presented in cover design and promotion? Answering these questions will help you answer the most important question: How does your book stand out in the crowd? Be ready to answer it because someone will ask it.


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Writing in 140 is my attempt to say something somewhat relevant about writing in 140 words or less.

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Shon Bacon is an author, editor, and educator. She has published both creatively and academically; her debut solo novel, Death at the Double Inkwell is available for purchase. Shon also interviews women writers on her popular blog ChickLitGurrl: high on LATTES & WRITING. You can learn more about Shon's writings at her official website, and you can get information about her editorial services at CLG Entertainment. Currently, Shon is busy editing, promoting her debut project, writing screenplays, and pursuing her Ph.D. in Technical Communication and Rhetoric at Texas Tech University.

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14 comments :

  1. Good points, Shon. We do have to know how to market. Things are changing so much in the publishing business that we have to focus on the business side of the writing game.

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  2. true enough, these are relevant questions to help one in branding one's own story... you write so concisely and indeed, this blog makes "Writing in 140" a fab!

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  3. Fantastic points, Shon. We all need to put on our marketing hats and exercise that part of our brains.

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  4. Too late, Elspeth ... the marketing part of my brain has already atrophied.

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  5. Condensing your story or book down to 140 words is also a good way to start working on your query letter.

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  6. Great post Shon. I've got homework I guess. LOL

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  7. Great question! And the answer should be on the tip of a writer's tongue. Thank you for the post!

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  8. Great point. I don't think writers should think about this before, or while, they write their story--they should simply strive for greatness, and originality. Afterward, though, this is essential.

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  9. I think it's special because i wrote it!I seriously think that... lol

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  10. Thanks everyone for the comments. I tell you every day, I get a few e-mails from new writers who are so eager to get their book out in the public that they don't take the time to think about the whole process. They see the end result, a book in their hands, but they don't pause long enough to consider what makes their book special, why should readers buy it, who might they be competing with for reader's attention. It's why a lot of new writers go through major growing pains with that first book they released, especially when they go the self-publishing route.

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  11. LOL

    Julia...well, I'm glad you think it's special, sweetie. Why should IIIII--the person who has to pay for it--think it's special? *chuckling*

    And by IIIII, I am referring to others because I have already read you, and I think you and your stories are special.

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  12. I know I was asked that question in an interview and the answer came easy to me. I had already thought it out. Good advice.

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  13. Great points. As in any business venture it is important to have a solid knowledge base and research before you dive in and attempt to swim.

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  14. Great questions that writers do need to be able to answer. Thanks for sharing.

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The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

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