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If you are serious about becoming a published author, stop writing novels you hope will sell. Do what best-sellling writers do—plan and write salability into every page.
Mastering basic techniques is vital, but unless you use those techniques creatively and skillfully, your novel may not tempt an editor. Why risk rejection when you can learn what the professionals know.
Don't hope for success, make it happen. Write your novel so it sells.
Here are seven essentials a novel must have to compete in today's tight fiction markets.
1. Make sure your story idea offers something new and different to grab and hold an editor's attention. Don't settle for any idea in its original form.
2. Develop a unique protagonist and a memorable villain. Scarlett O'Hara and Hannibal Lecter weren't the first pictures the authors came up with.
3. Use your setting to enhance mood and suspense. Would “Rebecca” have endured so many years without Manderley?
4. Build a plot that escalates tension right to the last page. Steadily building tension means the reader keeps turning the pages.
5. Use words that add to the mood and suspense in every scene. Choose words that help create the picture you want the reader to see.
6. Control the pace so the reader can't put the book down. As the tension increases so does the pace.
7. Give the reader the satisfying, exciting ending he's been waiting for. Your finale must be the most exciting scene of all. The reader won't forgive you if it isn't.
Planning and developing these 7 things as you write your story will put you on the path to success and make that editor say, “This novel will sell!”
Marilyn Henderson chose writing as a second career so she could work from home. She had no idea how hard it was to make that bfirst sale then keep selling, but she soon learned the difference between writing a novel she hoped would sell and what agents and editors really want. Now after more than 60 novels published, she mentors writers and shares that expertise with writers who want to build careers or make those first sales.
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