Tag Archives: importance

Jul 07

“A File of Notes” More Great Writing Advice from Mary Deal

Every time a writer gets an idea, a hot plot line, a shocking sentence, a joke, it should be jotted down. Those that are hand written should soon be entered with the rest into a file of notes in a word processor. Before “walking away” from that note, make sure you have captured it properly in words, so the original mood or thought is clearly expressed.

Nothing is worse than to look back at your entries, searching for something you know you logged, and not understand why you wrote something.

You may not know into which story any of the notes fit, but they are just too good a thought or idea and should be captured, given life, and not left to recall later when the original creativity and memory has faded.

Into that file of notes goes everything that you cannot presently use. Character sketches, humor, plot ideas, beginnings, endings, titles, something someone said. You name it. From this file of notes is where you will draw many tidbits to enhance your stories, especially when your Muse takes unannounced time off.

Very often with me, a certain entry will stand out in my mind and my muse will “play with it,” that is, enlarge the idea, and make something happen with it. At that point I usually know into which story the material can be applied. Should I not know where it belongs, I simply enter the new information expanding the first idea and then leave it alone.

I have gone back to my notes for each and every novel or short story that I write. In the case of making notations of funny lines and crazy quips, when I knave a particular character with a unique personality, I know exactly which lines I can pull from the notes and incorporate into my story.

The importance of note making can’t be stressed enough; hence, the use of the proverbial paper table napkin, ala JK Rowling and Ernest Hemingway before her. Read More

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May 26

Mary Deal Explains all about “Interpreting Amazon Rankings” on the Child Finder Trilogy

For book buyers, as you watch any book’s trek through the Amazon charts, it’s best not to base your buying decisions on those rankings alone.

Authors, ever wonder how to interpret book rankings on Amazon?

One sale can drop your book very low, even down below 100K. (That’s actually RAISE your book toward #1). It all depends on how many books are selling at the same time as yours. See it this way:

If you sell one copy, then everyone selling 2 or more copies will represent those sales between your ranking and the #1 slot.

Those selling fewer books than you, or no books at all, will place AFTER you out to infinity.

No real way exists to tell how many of your books sold at one time. Your book may languish at a certain position. That means no books are selling, not even yours. Any books that sell more copies than yours will continue to push your book’s ranking out, away from the #1 position, even if you’re selling well.

Sometimes just one sale of your book can take you nearer toward #1, but all that means is that no one else bought a book at the same time you did.

Amazon rankings are calculated every hour, so if no one bought a book during the hour yours sold, your ratings look real good. But watch, the next hour your rankings start to slide again due to sales of other books.

No real way exists to evaluate those ratings. Neither authors nor book buyers should give them much importance. An author could be selling a book an hour and if someone else sells two books per hour – especially if someone sells multi-copies in that same hour – though you’re making great sales, your rankings will slip. Read More

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