Sunday, June 26, 2016

Writing a Plot Twist

   Writing a plot twist can be tricky.

 Plot twists are meant to surprise your readers--to turn them into a completely different plot direction. But, the tricky thing is, the twist has to not only be smart but believable while keeping them interested in the story. You don't want to write a ridiculous plot twist that will make your readers go "That's unrealistic." You want them to take the plot twist seriously and to keep reading your book.

 Your plot twist needs to leave your readers in awe and on-edge to get to the ending! You want your plot twist to. Blow. Their. Minds. But how? How do you write a plot twist that throws off your readers while making it believable and not making it cheesy or way out there?

 Writing a plot twist can, therefore, be challenging because of the above concerns.

You should know the whole plot of your book before this. Outline, play around with a few ideas.

 Plot twists are good because it makes the reader excited and throws them for a loop. Sometimes, a book can be predictable, and while that's not necessarily a bad thing, you want to keep things interesting just the same.

 1. Play God and ruin your character(s) happiness. Throw your readers for a crazy ride with this plot twist. Give them a false sense of comfort. When things get calm, screw everything up! Be a tornado! Destroy everything in your path! Think of the crappiest thing that could happen in that moment, and make it happen. It will totally throw off your readers. It works every time, if done right.

 2. Mislead your readers. For instance, you could have a character seem like "the bad guy." You could make your readers hate this character, but then suddenly make it where they become best friends with your main character. One of my favorite examples to give of this is Zuko and Aang from Avatar: The Last Airbender (and no, I don't mean that horrendous movie. I'm talking about the TV show).
 3. Put tiny hints every now and then. This way, it's not just something that's out of the blue but when the big plot twist is revealed, your reader will immediately connect all the dots. Of course, try not to make the bread crumbs too obvious.

 4. The big bang. The "I didn't see that coming!" plot twist. Something believable but totally unexpected should happen. It's what I like to call a BAM AND THIS HAPPENS plot twist. The information provided during a plot twist like this should be brand new. You should not sprinkle little hints throughout your book for this one. This is something that just needs to happen.
This one does hold the most risk. You have to be really careful about how big you go with this plot twist. It can't be too crazy! Do not make it a far-fetched BAM.

 Get opinions from people. Let them read your book and then tell them about the plot twist that you're thinking about using, and ask them if they think it could work. Take notes. Ask them for ideas to make it better. Write this crap down and try to form their suggestions into your original plot twist. 

 Happy writing! <3

Saturday, June 11, 2016

How Much Does It Cost to Publish a Book?

   As you write your book, you might be considering to publish it once you're done writing and polishing your masterpiece, but the last thing on your mind is how much it might cost.

 When you start to get serious about self-publishing though, you might start to realize that it takes a lot of time, detail, patience, and more than a few dollars to prepare your book for publication. You have to pay for getting your book copyrighted, you have to hire a book cover artist or purchase a pre-made cover, you also have to pay for proof copies of your book if you're publishing a physical edition, and you have to pay for marketing.

 To start out, finish your book before you worry about the publishing side. Your focus should be on writing and finishing your book, and then you need to concentrate on polishing it. Editing is key. There are always mistakes that you'll need to fix and you can strengthen your story at the same time. (Click here to learn more about the editing process).

 Once your book is written and it has been edited enough times that you feel that it's good enough. Also try to get a few people to read your book when it's done to get some tips on improving your book further.

 Decide when to publish! After your book is polished and ready to be thrown out into the world, you need to decide when to publish. You don't have to pick the exact day just yet, but you should decide what month. Take into account that you have to get the cover, copyright it, and format your book to the standards that the publishing platform requires of you (whether digital or physical). Give yourself a reasonable time-frame to get everything together and ready.

 How much do you want to spend? Think about how much you want to spend on self-publishing your book. Give yourself a budget, start saving, and try to keep to your limit during the process of publishing. I will warn you though, book covers don't come cheap. (I'll leave a few links to book cover artists that I've used down below.)

 To calculate how much this is going to cost, you first have to make decisions about all of the things you want to do and will need (like advertising and book covers) and add up the costs for everything. 

 The last thing you have to do, it save up X amount until you're close to the publishing date and go ahead and purchase everything you need!

Book Cover Artists I've Used:

 Good luck! <3