Choosing your audience: Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea

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“Once upon a time, a publisher asked me if I’d write a novel for teenagers. ‘Oh, no!’ I said. ‘No, thanks very much, but I couldn’t,” writes Ursula K. Le Guin, author of Earthsea.

So almost didn’t begin youth fantasy. Before she wrote Earthsea, there was fantasy like T.H. White’s The Once and Future King, as well as J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. But nothing for teens.

What was the problem Le Guin had with writing for teenagers? She wasn’t an unpublished author scared of finally getting a chance–she had already published. And it wasn’t like she was a nonfiction author fearful of going public with a novel–she had already published both science fiction and fantasy.

“It was the idea of writing with a specific audience in mind or a specific age of reader that scared me off.” But after considering it, “I thought about it. Slowly the idea sank in. Would writing for older kids be so different from just writing? Why? Despite what some adults seem to think, teenagers are fully human.”

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You’re on Fire—Three Keys to Writing Success

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Fire needs three things—fuel, heat, and oxygen. Without any of these, there is no fire.

 

Success is similar. It needs these three—time, motivation, and a plan.

 

Time

Did you know that you could save over $8,000 for your child’s college by saving $1 each day starting at birth? Wow! Or if you invest $5,000/year for 10 years beginning at age 25, you could have over $600,000 by age 65. (Compare this to the $400,000 earned by investing $5,000 from age 35 to 60.)

Bill Gates said, “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.

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What’s in a name? A Goth by any other name would not be.

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Heroes and ancient warriors collected names. Think of biblical characters, Tolkien’s heroes, or ancient kings with their list of titles. Quite impressive, especially compared to our simple John Robert Smith. (My apologies if that is your name.)

So, how do you go about choosing a name?

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Top seven questions to ask your readers

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Wouldn’t you love to know what your readers are thinking as they read your book? You could know when they’re excited or bored, interested or confused.

My wife is my first reader, and I always laugh at her written comments—“hmmm,” “ho hum,” or “oooooh!” These show me what to change in a way I could never do alone.

Unfortunately, most readers are not so dedicated. Instead, if you want many readers to give you advice, try sticking to these seven open-ended questions that readers can fill out after they read.

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How can you write with the kids around? Part 3

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How do you write when you have a family, job, and possibly even a life?
   Make sure you check out parts 1 and 2 first.
   https://danielfbowman.wordpress.com/2013/07/02/how-can-you-write-with-the-kids-around/
   https://danielfbowman.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/how-can-you-write-with-the-kids-around-part-2/

1. Communicate
In a good novel, you need dialogue.
Same in relationships.
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How can you write with the kids around? Part 2

my family

(photo by Amanda M. Bowman http://mtaphotographer.wordpress.com/)

If you haven’t read part one, go here: https://danielfbowman.wordpress.com/2013/07/02/how-can-you-write-with-the-kids-around/#more-62

I love telling people that I’m an author. It makes me feel like I’ve achieved something most people think is impossible. One question I get from almost everyone is: How do you find the time?
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Accessibility is everything: Victory over apathy

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You want to cook a meal, but you have to thaw the meat. So you don’t.

You want to get in shape, but you have to drive to the gym. So you don’t.

You want to write a novel, but you have to find where to start. So you don’t.

You want to send a letter, but you have to get a stamp. So you don’t.

You want to email a friend, but you have to turn on the computer. So you don’t.

So many pathetic excuses!

How do you expect to get anything done when you have to set it up first? Isn’t it strange how even 1 minute of set up can keep you from doing what needs to be done?

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How to know your novel is ready

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Which option is better?

 

–Andrew lets people know he is an author. But whenever asked to show what he wrote, he claims it is a secret. He fears letting others see the story, lest they steal the ideas and make millions on his hard work. He is more suspicious than the private eye in his whodunit.

 

–Benjamin avoids telling others that he is an author, though many people realize it because he is too busy writing to have a life. Friends and even professors enjoy reading what he writes for class, but he refuses to share his novel with them, always saying it is not yet good enough.

 

–Christopher regularly brags about his writing and readily shows it to others. He blogs multiple times a week and has self published several books in the year since he began his writing career. Unfortunately, you can guess the quality of it because of so much in so little time.

 

So, this brings back the question: When should you show your book to others?

I recommend reading it four times first.
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