Writing Tip – Visualizing Characters
Picture your character before you start writing about them. Sometimes writers have a character in mind, but they have a hard time giving him or her definition. Don’t be afraid to draw your characters, or even borrow ideas from a photograph. Having an image in front of you can definitely make defining the physical features and descriptions of your character easier.
Writing Prompt – Injury
Think about the last time you were injured. Was it a minor injury, or did you break a limb? Then, write a story or poem about how your life changed and how you managed life while you were healing. What interesting insights or revelations came out of your healing process?
WestBow Press was delighted to be present at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books this past weekend on April 20 and 21. This was the 18th year of the LA Times Festival, and it was its second time being held at the University of Southern California campus.
With over 150,000 attendees, the LA Times Festival of Books is one of the largest book festivals in the country. We at WestBow Press loved seeing so many people there interested in reading, writing and publishing. Los Angeles’ warm and sunny weather provided an ideal weekend for readers to spend time at an outdoor festival. Local families and USC students weren’t the only ones enjoying the events at the festival – numerous celebrities, entertainers and media outlets were present, keeping the energy up throughout the entire event.
WestBow Press was able to feature 24 different titles at the LA Times Festival of Books. By being featured at this event, these books were on display in the WestBow Press Book Gallery, listed in the catalog made available as a free takeaway for festival attendees and they were for sale in the Indie Author Bookstore. These three different avenues of exposure gave readers three different ways to learn about the featured titles and the authors.
Events where literature is the main focus, such as the LA Times Festival of Books, are a great opportunity for WestBow Press authors to reach a highly interested crowd of people who are passionate about books and reading. This weekend, readers of all ages were able to browse for new books and new authors, giving those who have published with WestBow Press a chance to broaden their fan base and build upon their marketing platform.
Aspiring authors and authors who are interested in finding out how they can reach out to their target audiences are also attracted to literature-based events. We are always pleased to meet aspiring authors and fortunately for these writers, we were there to help answer any questions they had. We are always proud to help our authors achieve their dreams!
Writing Tip – Read Reviews
When writing your book, make sure to read the reviews of books of the same genre, or with a similar story line. You want to see what the readers and critics have to say about these books. Don’t fall into the same traps the books with bad reviews did. Instead, learn from their mistakes and shape your manuscript into a publication worthy of rave reviews.
Writing Prompt – Endings
Remember, not all stories have resolutions. Think about a story with a conflict where the characters simply exist within the tension. Perhaps it is an archeological search for some relic, or maybe a neighborly feud that has gone on for years. Now, write a story or poem that attempts to emulate this kind conflict, without reaching for a clean, fair or ironic resolution.
Each April (National Poetry Month), people across the country get excited about reading and writing poems. But what do you do once you’ve actually written and published your own book of poetry? How do you reach out to readers and attract an audience?
Here are five ways to promote you book of poetry:
What tips and advice do you have for marketing books of poetry?
Writing Tip – Dialogue
You want the dialogue in your book to flow. Try writing a scene in only dialogue. Try not to over think things, and let your words flow. Allow your character to solely set the movement of your scene. When you are finished, review your text and figure out what the scene was really about. By playing with dialogue, you’ll discover undercurrents for your scene that weren’t obvious before.
Writing Prompt – Character Development
Pick a story you like and know well. Take a look at the main character and write a paragraph describing this character at the start of the story: attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, etc. Now write a paragraph describing that character at the end. Do you see significant differences? Did the character stay steady or did change occur? How would you describe the emotional curve?
Recent research from Digital Book World points out that authors still look to traditional publishers for the following:
WestBow Press is uniquely positioned to help authors ride the wave of self-publishing while experiencing the benefits that come from being affiliated with a traditional publisher. Look for news on what this can mean for your book in the weeks to come.
What problems are you trying to solve through your writing?
What do you want in a book publisher?
Writing Tip – Change Your Scenery
Dust off that map and take a look at the number of places you can travel within an hour of home. Go for a day trip. Sit and write someplace new. This change of scenery brings inspiration, motivation, and a new eye for your surroundings and all of its little details.
Writing Prompt – Character Voice
Who is easier to pen — the optimistic or the pessimistic voice? Write a ‘poem for two voices’ where an optimist and a pessimist share their views about a single topic.
Scott Coleman published Best When Broken with WestBow Press. Best When Broken shares the testimony of Scott’s life through the grace of God. Coleman became a quadriplegic at the age of 17 due to a water skiing accident. His testimony shows that every moment is a gift from God and that a relationship with Him can, and will, help overcome any disability or hardship.
Here we dive a little deeper into how his accident changed his view on the world and what advice he has for others who might be going through a similar situation.
WestBow Press: What was going through your mind after your accident?
Scott Coleman: Surprisingly, my primary thoughts were not fearful, but embarrassment. I was positive I was about to head straight to eternity and I was embarrassed to give an account of my life to my Creator, and because of this I never asked God to save me. I didn’t panic because I was face-down in the water, paralyzed and unable to breathe. I simply asked the Lord to forgive me, and by the time they rolled me over in the water I had that Philippians kind of peace – the kind that passes understanding. (more…)
WestBow Press announced author Laurie Norlander as the Grand-Prize winner in the third annual Women of Faith writing contest. Norlander’s manuscript, Mirror Images, was selected from over 400 entrants. The fiction title will be published through WestBow Press and will be given special consideration by Thomas Nelson.
The 2012 Women of Faith Writing Contest was judged by representatives from Thomas Nelson Publishing and Live Event Management, Inc., and the producers of Women of Faith.
Grand Prize: ‘Mirror Images’ by Laurie Norlander
“It is a real page turner – a perfect book to get lost in. The book was a clear favorite with a complex plot full of real life problems and many unexpected twists and turns that kept readers guessing to the very end.”
– Susan Ellingburg, Marketing Copywriter, Live Event Management Inc.
Additional winners included Julie Hall and Alana Terry. Julie Hall came in first place with her fantasy-fiction book, Life Everafter, and Alana Terry came in second place with her fiction book, The Beloved Daughter.
First Place: ‘Life Everafter’ by Julie Hall
“Life Everafter is absolutely charming, imaginative and sweet. It is a fast-paced, original and intriguing story. I hope it’s a series because I can’t wait to see what happens next.”
– Susan Ellingburg
Second Place: ‘The Beloved Daughter’ by Alana Terry
“The Beloved Daughter has an engaging plot that reads like a story out of today’s headlines and makes the reader stop to consider what they would do in similar circumstances.”
– Susan Ellingburg
Thomas Nelson, Women of Faith and WestBow Press would like to thank all of our contest participants for being brave and courageous and sharing your stories with us!