The Art Of Subtlety: How To Add Hints To Your Writing

The Art Of Subtlety: How To Add Hints To Your Writing, guest post by Alice Jones

Giving subtle hints to your readers is the part they will adore the most when reading your novel. They love putting the pieces of the puzzle together and pretending they found the clues themselves. Why not give them this chance to have fun solving puzzles? We, writers, need to learn how to become more subtle in novels. We need to draw the readers to the clues carefully. Clues are the answers to everything and the authors need to implement them skillfully in the text. Here are a few ways how to do it:
Create an emotional journey of your characters
Unlike outer journeys that show character’s adventures, it is also important to show how emotionally overwhelmed they are in their own world. The reader should feel the inner state of the character. It can either evolve from the outer journey or from deeper inner emotions. By outer journey, I mean such adventures as, for example, escaping from the castle or fighting someone. The spiritual journey can be, let’s say, character’s deep desire to prove something to the world or find true love. When the author learns how to combine inner and outer journeys and place hints, it will be possible to achieve real subtlety in a novel.
Mystery style
Mystery genre can teach the writers of other genres a lot. Here, readers should follow the clues in a specified order. All the clues should be subtle and appear surprisingly in the text at right moments. Keep your style mysterious and surprise your readers with every hint you give them. Be creative. Map your clues logically across the novel.
When preparing your clues, consider a few tricks:
§  They can be ambiguous.
§  They can lead to a few different people.
§  They can be wrongly read.
§  They can make no sense until another clue helps to makes it clear.

Don’t let the tension disappear till the very end
You need to keep readers alert all the time. They shouldn’t feel like they want to skip the whole chapter because it’s boring and different from the rest. The tension needs to grow, not get weaker. Invent characters who seemingly look good to the reader and no one can even think about their malicious intentions. Avoid things that are overly complicated and don’t be unfair towards your readers. You can mislead your readers but you can’t tell them the bald lie. 
The tension is critical in novel writing. Otherwise, the reader will have all the reasons to close the book and leave it for “never” to finish. 
Alice Jones is a tutor and freelance writer, who is interested in education, blogging and sharing her ideas. She also loves inspiring and motivating people and has spent the last 5 years improving and helping the others to improve. Follow Alice on TwitterGoogle+, or find her in other social media, pop in there and say “Hi” to her!
Read More

How to Handle Book Bigotry

How to Handle Book Bigotry, Guest post by Carolyn Howard-Johnson

I thought I would share an early draft from my coming book in the HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers titled How To Get Great Reviews Frugally and Ethically with Jo’s readers. It was launched in a special promotion ( ) and it is expected to be read by at least 20,000 authors, which makes me practically ecstatic that I can help that many in the its first months as an e-book. It is now available as a paperback, too.

I believe—know—that attitudes toward self- and indie-publishers has become more accepted over the decades when any author who was published by anything other than university presses and New York’s Big Five were derisively called “vanity publishers.” Still, book bigotry or its near cousins hasn’t disappeared entirely.
That sounds discouraging, but it’s a reality. Some—including reviewers—find it convenient to let the name of a press help vet their final choices among hundreds of thousands of books available to them these days. Using the name of a respected press is an easy—though misguided—way to do that.
Brooke Warner, the author of Green Light Your Books and board member of IBPA (Independent Book Publishers of America) says, “I advise authors with [print-on-demand books] never to specify how their books were printed [when they are] talking to book buyers, event hosts, booksellers, conference organizers or librarians . . . .”
Notice that Warner is not suggesting you fib about how the book is published. It seems she is suggesting we just omit that piece of information. But in some cases you can bravely face down book bigotry. That means owning up to however your book is published. My coauthor of the Celebration Series of Chapbooks Magdalena Ball and I list our poetry booklets in the series as “proudly self-published in the time-honored tradition of poets since before Gutenberg invented the press.”
Honesty is essential. Reviewers and other contacts are not naïve. They know a digitally printed book, micro press, indie publisher or any number of entities now in the publishing business when they see it. But, as writers, we know that words and the way we use them are powerful and we should be willing to use the power to the best of our ability within the boundaries required by ethics.
It is your job—no matter who printed your books—to convince reviewers (and, yes, readers!) that your book is the one they want to spend time with. That your book has value that particular reader or reviewer can use, wants, or desperately needs. We do that by:
§  By publishing or having someone else publish a professional, well edited book. Read more on how to do that in my multi award-winning The Frugal Editor and find more books that will help you with the journey in the Index of that book.
§  By building—and continuing to build—a platform that is respected by others in the publishing industry. (Read more on that in The Frugal Book Promoter).
§  By approaching reviewers (and other gatekeepers) with whom you have built a relationship and/or those you have researched so you are confident that they will have an interest in your genre. That requires lots of reading and research so you won’t waste sending a book to someone with no clout or who isn’t actually a reviewer (more on that at in my coming book, the third in the HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers).

Note: By being familiar with the reviewer or other contact and the media she writes for, you limit the chances your book or the content within will be misused. For more on that see the chapter on “Why Book Reviews Aren’t What You Think They Are” in my coming How To Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically when it comes out in August/September..
You, the author of your book, are the one who is so passionate about it you will not be daunted by the review-garnering task. Persistence is the key. But here’s The Secret to getting around this to-tell-or-not-to-tell conundrum:
Pretend you are a florist and must put the best blooms in your book bouquet forward. You discard the wilted ones, or at least place them behind the more exquisite blossoms in your inventory.
·         So, you shout it out when it’s your advantage to tell and you do with pride.
·         When you think your bloom will appear slightly wilted to your contact, you disguise it with the name of a professional publishing company you set up for your own books.
·         And when all else fails, you tactfully omit that information. You won’t fool anyone who finds this information super important, but there is no rule that you must flaunt it, either.

How to Handle Book Bigotry, Guest post by Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Carolyn Howard-Johnson brings her experience as a publicist, journalist, marketer, and retailer to the advice she gives in her HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers and the many classes she taught for nearly a decade as instructor for UCLA Extension’s world-renown Writers’ Program. All her books for writers are multi award winners including both the first and second editions of The Frugal Book Promoter and her The Frugal Editor won awards from USA Book News. Other awards include Readers’ Views Literary Award, the marketing award from Next Generation Indie Books and others including the coveted Irwin award. Her next book in the HowToDoItFrugally series for writers is How To Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically.
Read More

10 Top Book Writing Tips for Beginners

10 Top Book Writing Tips for Beginners, guest post by Alyssa Johnson

Every person has the interesting story to tell. In some time, the idea to share it comes to mind. But how to do that? Some people decide to search the net writing “I want to write a book, where do I start?”.

There are many articles by famous authors and bloggers who have achieved success in their careers. They are ready to give the pieces of advice. Surely, many men, many minds, but I have chosen the top ten common points:

1.    Idea. Think about the idea you want to write about. This may be the question, which influenced you much, or the one you want to put. It is also about the actuality – will the reader accept it or not.

2.    Dedication. You have to decide for whom you are writing the book. The real person may inspire and coach. Also, make the white pages look not that scary at the beginning.

3.    Title. It is the best description for the book, it is the face of all your work. The title can be working but you are able to change it to the current one lately. It is also the initial point you will make story circles around.
The title is a saying, which expresses the plot in two/ three words. Be careful, because it is the first what a person is going to see.

4.     Volumes. Make it short – no more novels in style of Charles Dickens. They are not popular nowadays. The format of a blog is more suitable for the demanding bookworm at present.

It is all about the current literature style, which is called post-modern. It requires freshness and rhythm – a kind of similar to the rapid modern life. That means the reader will have not much time to be involved in deep essential transformations of your heroes. 

5.    Impression. Write your book amusingly. Capture attention with the “word waves” – firstly, impress and then help to calm down. The useful tool will be short sentences and bright description to each process, which takes place between lines. Remember, that bright does not always mean long. “Write shortly. Write clear. Write sincerely.” as one author wrote once.

6.     Language. Your story is supposed to flow slightly from one page to another without any “rough corners” and moments. There is a suggestion you may forget but not completely about the grammar rules and style stuff. It is because of the “author voice” you are welcome to follow. Just leave the corrections to the editor.

7.    Characters. The problem is imagination is sometimes unbelievably wide. And so to express even a small idea the extended number of characters is needed. The reader will simply lose the time trying to remember their names. Some of them may be even forgotten and the time passes in the book.

8.    Word confusion. The steps to writing a good book include many points but, probably, the most significant is language usage. You have to avoid repetition and as a result, prevent the reader from being bored.

9.    Mood. Try to express the mood and feelings of characters in the dialogue. That is what attracts the eye mostly. Dialogue is something private and even intimate, closed from the author’s eye.

Here one more point should be also mentioned. Do not confuse writing from the first and second person. Arrange this question for yourself when getting started.

10.  Read like a reader. If continuing the topic about the author and his role in the characters living, it is definitely important. Nevertheless, when you have done everything needed, put away the pencil. The next your task will be to read the story like a reader.

Being completely away from the author’s thoughts and the changes is hard but necessary. Yes, they are still possibly to be done, but the book partly belongs to the world now. You are not the only owner, the time to show it to the audience has already come.

This tips on writing a book is a short summary of that pieces of advice one is able to find and get freely. But that was connected with it being created, What about the promotion? You have to look for the additional information. Surely the biggest market is the global network. Do not lose your chance!

To sum up, find yourself in literature – among words, between lines, inside the pages. Do not be afraid of being open to other people sharing emotions freely. Remember, that they also fulfil your life.

Alyssa Johnson is a blogger and freelance writer for Aaustralianwritings whose priority values are hardworking and sense of purpose

Read More

Children’s Writers Who Teach Adults

Children’s Writers Who Teach Adults, guest post by Jessica Freeman

Tell me about the favorite book of your childhood, and I’ll tell you about your dreams. I’ll tell you about your values. Would you pick Alice in Wonderland? Then, I would say you’re an adventurist, dreamer, and risk-taker.  Was Peter Pan your favorite character? Then, I would say you have a goal to stay in touch with your inner child, forever and ever.

Children’s books form our characters. Although today’s kids are more into iPads and cartoons, parents are still finding ways to get them interested in reading. Why? Because reading the right books can help them form the right characters.

Children’s Books from an Adult’s Perspective

If you were reading a lot when you were a child, that habit helped you develop skills of critical and creative thinking, as well as writing. Instead of ordering papers from AustralianWritings like most other students do, you probably had the capacity to write your own essays and research papers. In addition to skills, those books also helped us form moral values.

Have you thought about going back to the favorite books of your childhood? There’s a good reason to do that: when you read children’s books as an adult, you see them from a different point of view. You’ll have a reality check: how far have you gone from those values?

Children’s Writers Make Us Grounded

The Little Prince is seen as a children’s book, but Antoine de Saint-Exupéry thought of it as an allegory of his own life. He was searching for his inner peace and childhood certainties.

If you read The Little Prince now, you’ll realize this is one of the most philosophical books ever written. It’s about friendships, belief, kindness, growing up, and maintaining moral values. It makes you realize: children’s logic is the ultimate achievement of wisdom in life. Why do we distance ourselves away from it?

Many other children’s books can return us to the lessons we shouldn’t have forgotten. In addition to The Little Prince, here are four other suggestions of books you should reread as a grown-up.

1.    Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”
That quote grasps the whole essence of this book. No matter how tightly we try to hold onto the past, we can never get it back. That is not a tragedy. Time goes by so we can change, grow, and evolve into better persons. 

2.    Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
“Sir, with no intention to take offence, I deny your right to put words into my mouth.”
This classical adventure made us spend sleepless nights. We remember the adventure part, but do we recall the moral of the story? Treasure Island represents the good old theme that we face every day in our lives: Good vs. Evil. The pirates don’t end up well, and the good characters get the treasure.
But, what about Silver? The conflict in this character makes us realize: there’s no absolute good and there’s no absolute bad. A man’s soul is a battlefield among these two extremes. Just like Dostoevsky said in his famous Brothers Karamazov. The only difference is: we learned that lesson when we were kids, reading Treasure Island

3.    Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
“Thus, fear of danger is ten thousand times more terrifying than danger itself.”
If we were asked to define this book in a single sentence, this would be the answer: “it’s a novel about bravery.” We loved Robinson Crusoe when we were kids, since he taught us about believing in ourselves and not giving up. He taught us that having faith was an important aspect of reaching our goals. It’s time to remind ourselves of that lesson.

4.    Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
“Reflect upon your present blessings -- of which every man has many -- not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”
First of all, this book taught us to learn from the mistakes of others. We don’t want to become our own versions of Ebenezer Scrooge, do we? Greed leads us to loneliness. The book teaches us how to love not only our close ones, but all people. Everyone has misfortunes, but blessings as well. When we focus on the good things, we see more of them.

As you were growing up, your tastes for literature changed. That’s the natural thing to happen. You progressed towards ‘books for grownups’ and now you’re probably expecting the next chapter of A Song of Ice and Fire to come out. While you’re waiting for that to happen, why don’t you go back to the favorite books of your childhood? Trust me: you’ll see them from a whole other perspective as a grown-up.           

Jessica Freeman is a professional journalist and a freelance content writer from Sydney, Australia. She focuses on education, literature, and academic topics. She considers content writing to be her passion. You can follow her on Facebook and Google+. 

Read More

Excerpt: Deceit and Devotion by Faye Hall

Excerpt: Deceit and Devotion by Faye Hall

Title: Deceit and Devotion 
Author: Faye Hall
Genre: Historical Romance / Interracial Romance

Excerpt: Deceit and Devotion by Faye Hall
About the Book:

"I will pay you to sleep with my wife."

Jarrah Miyan, a young half-caste aboriginal man, is supposed to seduce a white woman into an affair so her greed-driven husband can gain full control of her inheritance, including the rare collection of black opals she keeps under lock and key. When he walks into the study to meet the poor chit he's to take advantage of, he expects to find an aging woman who smells of stale perfume and gin. Who he finds though is the most beautiful woman he's ever laid eyes on—the same woman whose pale thighs had been wrapped around him just a few hours earlier as she'd begged him to give her pleasure.

After their night of passion together, Emily Holtz doubted she would ever see Jarrah again. To have him standing before her now, asking for employment at her cattle station, was not a situation she had prepared herself for. She agrees to hire him on one condition. He has to spy on her husband and get her the incriminating evidence she needs to apply for a divorce. She's spent years in a miserable arranged marriage, and she's desperate to escape. But her husband is a dangerous man, and he will stop at nothing, including murder, to get what he wants.

As they begin to develop feelings for each other, Jarrah worries about what will happen when Emily discovers that he's been working for both her and her husband. Not that they could ever really be together, as society would never accept that.

Content Warning: contains sex, strong language, and some violence

on sale for .99 at 


“You have no intention of hiring me as a station hand, do you, Emily?”
She stood on the other side of the desk, her fingers gripping the edge of the desktop tightly, her features so very serious.
“At least I got to see you one last time,” he said, smiling as he went to turn away from her, certain this would be the last time he saw her.
“Jarrah, wait,” she spoke up, stopping him. “I have a proposition for you.”
Turning back to face her, Jarrah eyed her carefully. “I don’t need your pity.”
“There is no pity,” she explained. “That evening I followed you from the fighting hall, I intended to give you this same proposition.”
“I’m listening,” he replied hesitantly.
She let out a shaky breath, and he realized this was the first time he’d seen her nervous. “My husband is a floundering snake who’ll crawl into the beds of any and all women who allow him between their thighs. I know this, but I have no proof, at least not enough to give to my lawyer to justify a divorce.”
“You can’t request a divorce otherwise?” Jarrah asked her.
“I can, but, as I’m a woman, few will take notice. However, if I can prove Thomas’s infidelities, or maybe some other secret he’s hiding, then maybe the courts will consider my position. Without enough proof though, I’ll lose everything my father left to me in his will. I can’t let that happen.”
“You’re asking me to spy on your husband to get your proof?” he asked. “Is this the reason you followed me the other night?”
She nodded. “I realize this is a very uncouth request, and you have my apologies, but I can see no other way open to me. I’ll hire you as a station hand so Thomas doesn’t suspect anything amiss, but I’ll need so much more from you than just station work.”
“How much proof do you need?”
“As much as you can acquire,” Emily said. “Photographs and letters would be ideal.”
Jarrah stood, silently studying this woman, thinking over the proposition she’d just given him. It was one so unlike any other he’d received before.
“Will you do this for me?” she asked. “Please?”
“Don’t you think your request is a tad hypocritical, Emily, I mean, given how well we’re acquainted with each other?”
“Will you do it or not? The man who runs the fighting hall told me you would do near anything for money. I’m offering you that, plus I’ll give you a dry place to sleep and plenty of food.”
Thinking on her request for just a moment, he nodded. “Just one thing,” he said. “Why did Thomas marry you in the first place if all he wanted was your money? Who exactly are you, Emily?”
She smiled at his question. “If you’re any good at your job, then you’ll find out soon enough.”

About the Author:

Faye Hall is a published author of Historical Erotic Romance novels & e-books. Faye's passion driven, mystery filled books are set in small townships of North Queensland, Australia during the late 1800's.

Each of her novels bring something symbolically Australian to her readers, from Aboriginal herbal remedies, to certain gemstones naturally only found in this part of the world.

Each of her books tell of a passionate connection between the hero and heroine, surrounded and threatened by deceit, scandal, theft and sometimes even murder.

These romances swerve from the traditional romances as Faye aims to give her readers so much more intrigue, whilst also revealing the hidden histories of rural townships of North Queensland. 

Faye finds her inspiration from the histories of not only the township she grew up in, but the many surrounding it. She also bases most of her characters on people she has met in her life. 

Faye was able to live her own passion driven romance, marrying the love of her life after a whirlwind romance in 2013. Together they are raising their 9 children in a remote country town in northern Queensland, Australia.


Read More