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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

5 Ways to Take Your Story From Meh to Marvelous

Michelle Griep writes historical romance, with 2 titles published to date. She teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op, and is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and MCWG (Minnesota Christian Writers Guild). At the end of the day, she comes home to 4 kids, 1 husband, and a slightly psychotic boxer named Tyson. 

You know that story you've written that's hiding in a drawer?

The one that's finished but it's just meh?

The one you love but know isn't market ready and you're not quite sure why?
Have I got a handy dandy checklist for you . . . 

5 Ways to Spice Up a Lukewarm Manuscript

Cause Trouble
When it comes to characters and story, safety is overrated. If your characters aren't having the rug yanked out from beneath them in every chapter, forget about it. You think readers want to wade through a dung pile of description for pages on end? The answer is no, they don't, and I don't care how clever your prose is. Ramp up the tension, not the exposition.

Speed It Up
Think about it. What's more exciting to watch? A Nascar race with squealing tires and burning rubber, or a blue-haired senior shuffling along with a walker? Pacing is everything when it comes to story. Put the pedal to the metal and keep the action whizzing by.

Shove Your Reader to the End of their Seat
Cliffhangers aren't only for the climax of a story. Use them at the end of every scene. Wait, did you hear me? EVERY scene. Don't give your reader a reason to yawn and close your book.

Zigzag and Switchback
Predictability is death. Except for a few die-hard formula romance readers, no one wants to have the story figured out from page one. As an author, it's your job to keep the reader guessing.

Toss in Some Clown Pants
Humor has its place in every book, no matter the genre. Sprinkled throughout, a good grin creates levity, breathing space, and contrast.

So go ahead and pull out that manuscript. Give these techniques a whirl. You'll have a spicey dicey story in no time.

Writer Off the Leash
Are you a writer at heart? How can you tell? And if you are, how do you go about composing and selling the next Great American Novel? WRITER OFF THE LEASH answers these questions and more--all in an easy to understand, tongue-in-cheek style. This is more than a how-to book. It's a kick in the pants for anyone who wants to write but is stymied by fear, doubt, or simply doesn't know how to take their writing to the next level. Award-winning author MICHELLE GRIEP blows the lid off stodgy old-school rulebooks and makes it clear that writing can--and should--be fun. 

Here is what readers are saying: 

“As a former publisher of more than 500 novels, I’m familiar with the questions and struggles of both the unpublished and seasoned author. Michelle’s fast-paced guide addresses these craft issues in a way that educates and entertains while arming you with tangible tools for becoming a better writer.” 
Allen Arnold, Former Fiction Publisher and Director of Content Ransomed Heart Ministries 


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