The Real Life Press Archive for Writers
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The 105 Questions Every Author Needs Answered
- What do I need to read and do before I start writing seriously?
- How can I get fired up to write? (Inspiration & Motivation)
- What about the days when I need something to prod me into writing? (Prompts and Writing Exercises)
- Why is writing frequently important? (Craft Practice)
- Why does it matter how I begin?
THE MEDIUM & THE STRUCTURE
- How should I share my knowledge? (Book, magazine, training course)
- How can I use my specialist knowledge in fiction?
- How can I personalize my knowledge, to make my book more than a list of instructions?
- What do I really want my book to be about?
- Why do I need a structure when my best work comes from writing spontaneously?
WRITING: THE BASICS
- How can I learn to spell and punctuate?
- How do I get the grammar right?
- How can I stop using the same words?
- What is the right sentence length?
- What is the right paragraph length?
IMPROVING WRITING QUALITY
- How can I write to win literary competitions?
- How can I make my writing clear and easy to understand?
- How can I write copy and ads for my business?
- How can I write summaries and letters I will need to help pitch and sell my book?
- How can I find words that create pictures and sensations for readers?
ELEMENTS OF CREATIVE WRITING
- How can I create realistic/interesting characters?
- How can I create page turning prose?
- How can I describe the time and place of a scene?
- How can I use dialogue and other conversations?
- How can I introduce backstory without interrupting the narrative flow?
OVERCOMING CRITICISM OF FICTION
- What do I change if I’m told my story is short of hooks or stakes?
- What is the difference between lack of conflict and lack of action?
- How can I correct a lack of tension?
- What is the difference between characters lacking goals and lacking motivation?
- Can somebody please explain the difference between show and tell without adding to my confusion?
WRITING DIALOGUE, MONOLOGUE & CONVERSATIONS FOR EACH MEDIUM
- How should I quote speech within a personalised ‘how to’ manual?
- How should I quote speech in a story or novel?
- How should I write dialogue for a radio play?
- How should I write dialogue for TV drama?
- How should I write dialogue for film?
CREATING WRITING FRAMEWORKS
- What is the best structure for the book I want to write?
- How can I create a chronology and characteristics framework of my main character(s)?
- How can I create a framework for adding personality to a ‘how to’ guide?
- How can I create a location framework and use descriptions from it in my text?
- How can I create the best framework for the genre?
VIEWPOINT & TENSE
- What are the advantages and downsides of the first-person viewpoint?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of the observing narrator third -person viewpoint?
- How can I keep the immediacy of the present tense while telling a story than spans decades?
- How can I switch viewpoints without losing the reader?
- How can I tell a story chronologically in the third person voice and still make the characters live?
WRITING GENRE FICTION
- What are the conventions for writing sub-genres of crime?
- What are the conventions for romance?
- What are the conventions for biography/history?
- What are the conventions for the genres of sci-fi?
- What are the ghost, horror & vampire conventions?
WRITING ABOUT REAL PEOPLE
- How can I write the truth but not identify the actual people?
- How can I model my fictional characters on real people but invent situations?
- How can I write an autobiography about someone else?
- I want to write genre fiction but with realistic rounded characters not ciphers, what’s the secret?
- I want to dazzle readers with my sparkling style but remain true to the characters, what’s the secret?
CRITIQUING AND EDITING
- How can I get constructive comments about my story, characters and plot before I write the whole thing?
- What does copy editing involve and why does it cost so much?
- If my manuscript has been copy-edited, why does it need to be proofread?
- Isn’t there software to do all this editing?
- What is the point of having a genre specialist reviewer reading my manuscript in draft?
CREATING THE MANUSCRIPT FOR PRINT & eBook
- What is the optimum number of words and chapters?
- Should I format or use a template, and create a word document or a PDF?
- What are the best typefaces for printed books and eBooks?
- How do illustrations need to be presented and positioned?
- What’s the best way to create a cover that sells?
CREATING THE PRESENTATION PACKAGE & SCRIPT
- How should I approach agents and the commissioning editors in traditional book publishing?
- How should I create and pitch a radio play?
- How should I create and pitch a TV series pilot?
- How should I create and pitch a movie script?
- What do I need for self-publishing or using hybrid book publishers?
THE TECHNICALITIES OF SELF-PUBLISHING
- How do I get ISBN numbers and artwork, and do I need them?
- How do I get my books listed for booksellers to order?
- Why shouldn’t I just leave all that to Amazon?
- Should I have copies printed in bulk or use Print on Demand?
- Why will a distributor insist on doing the printing?
- How do I arrange to get my books printed and trade distributed through shops and on-line worldwide?
- How can I have an eBook trade distributed but keep 100% of my website sales?
- How can I service online orders for books?
- How can I sell overseas and translation rights?
- How can I sell movie, radio and TV options?
PLANNING BOOK MARKETING
- How can I prepare marketing materials as I write the book?
- How soon before publication should I start getting the word out about my book?
- Are there good times of the year to publish certain kinds of books?
- Should I offer my book free or at a low price and when should I change the list price?
- What should I include in my publication day marketing package?
ONGOING MARKET PRESENCE
- Do I need a website?
- How can I build a mailing list?
- Do I need active social media accounts?
- How can I automate social media posts?
- How can I use landing pages to convert social media posts into book sales?
- How can I use Facebook to sell books?
- How can I use Twitter to sell books?
- How can I use Instagram to sell books?
- How can I use YouTube to sell books?
- How can I use Google+ to sell books?
MAKING MONEY BEYOND ONE BOOK?
- How can I write the book so it creates merchandising opportunities?
- How can I create compulsive central characters to feature in a series of books?
- How can I create a book with scope for sequels and prequels?
- How can I use a free book to sell the rest of a series?
- How can I become a celebrity with a fan following?
GETTING EDITORIAL COVERAGE AND REVIEWS
- How can I sell serialisation rights?
- How can I become a columnist?
- How can I send out media releases on a tight budget?
- How can I get good reviews?
- How can I use reviews in my marketing plan?
DOING EVERYTHING OR DELEGATING?
- How can I find and manage freelance resources?
- When should I get experts involved if my budget is limited?
- What are the benefits of affinity marketing?
- How can I measure marketing success and delegate intensification?
- How can I balance writing creativity with the business of being a writer?