It’s definitely important to write a self-help book when it’s a trauma or problem you’ve personally faced. Someone who has never struggled with pornography and hates it can’t easily help someone who goes through it because the certain level of emotional and psychological understanding isn’t as strong as it is with someone who overcame a battle of pornography themselves.
There are three great styles of writing to self-help books:
1. Writing about an issue you’ve overcome
2. Writing about an issue you are overcoming
3. Writing about an issue you overcame while writing
The phrase, “A writer cannot take a reader where they have not gone themselves,” by Constance Kellough, couldn’t be more true. Here are some tips to guide you on the right pathway to making a successful self-help novel:
1. Do your research wisely. Should you use other resources, which it’s highly recommended you do, make sure the author or books you research are trained in the facts and know a thing or two about the topic. And always cite their work if you use it, whether word for word in quotes or paraphrasing.
2. The research should be the skeleton of your writing, but it’s important to stem from your own experiences and understanding, as well. Often, the most influential way to help someone in a situation is knowing they are not alone in the struggle. Being transparent may give the personal edge needed to impact a life.
3. There should be a purpose behind the self-help book besides just making someone aware of something. Define and refine your purpose, and make sure you don’t lose that focus in the writing process.
4. Be real with your readers. Some parts of your situation relating to your self-help book may not be completely resolved. That’s ok. Sometimes you won’t have the answer. But your book shouldn’t be a drama fest where you unload all your life’s problems and label it a self-help story. Save that for your private journal.
5. Failure doesn’t mean you didn’t learn. If you want to write about something you failed at, but you still learned from the experience, share what you’ve learned. Build your stance further based on other people’s experiences they are willing to share with you.
Above all other things, never be afraid to do what’s right. If this book is on your mind day and night and you truly think it’ll motivate others to learn, step out and write! So remember: Research, write your story and inspire and teach those about this purpose you hold dear to you. The rest will be history.
Allenby, Sasha. “Write An Evolutionary Self-Help Book: The Definitive Guide for Spiritual Entrepreneurs.” Http://Sashaallenby.com, Wisdompreneurs Publish, 2014.
Safford, David. “How to Write a Self Help Book.” The Write Practice, 10 July 2018, thewritepractice.com/how-to-write-a-self-help-book/.
Whitbourne, Susan. “Five Things You Need to Know About Self-Help Books.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 22 May 2012, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201205/five-things-you-need-know-about-self-help-books.
“History repeats itself.” A phrase we hear more often than not. That’s why history is so important to humanity. Unlike most other stories, historical stories carry their own weight of importance and significance. Thus, it also carries with it more responsibility for writers. Facts, events and even characters can take on a whole new level of research. Let’s see what is necessary and important when deciding to take on a historical story:
Tips for Writing Historical Non-fiction:
Tips for Writing Historical Fiction:
For someone who loves history, researching the time period, characters and any other factual information may be one of the most fun tasks at hand. For those of us who aren’t as keen on history because of poor teachers presenting just the facts with no emotion or excitement, we need people with stories that both teach and entertain. So, whether you’re writing true historical events and lending yourself just to research or whether you’re wanting to spice up a good story among those events, historical writing is as much a love of readers as any other genre. So, get to writing your historical adventure – real or fictitious!
Whether your summer story has two heroes ready to jump into the fires of love or a heroine facing some serious emotional turmoil over her hero, romance novels contain so much more than the basic love story. But before a romance can make a hit, there are many elements to keep in mind during its creation.
Tips for Writing Romance:
Things to Avoid When Writing Romance:
To see these characteristics in actions, it’s important to read through successful novels that have made a good impact on the readership they aim at. Here are some examples of what these successful novels have done within their stories. Let’s take one of the most famous romance series in today’s world – The Twilight Saga.
These are simply a few of the romance elements shown in the story. The most important decision you can make in a romance – in any genre – is establishing an emotional connection between your readers and your characters. The rest is your playground!
So, you have a brimming tale in a magical world, where readers battle dragons, ghouls and goblins, but you don’t know where to begin. With this cauldron of boiling ideas and hardly a way to properly execute them, the story can fade away because you’re so overwhelmed with everything that must happen in fantasy. Hopefully, with a little perspective and guidance, writing down the fantasy idea feeding at your brain will be a little easier.
First thing’s first – to label a fantasy story from other stories, you must know some elements that make up a fantasy novel:
Other Key Tips to Help You When Writing Fantasy:
1. You can’t write about what you don’t know, so it’s a good idea to get a feel for your story’s genre by reading some successful novels in the same genre. Experiencing a fantasy thrill will help you get a better handle on knowing what’s effective in fantasy and what is required. Here are a few examples of well-known fantasy novels and some of their fantasy elements:
2. Don’t be afraid to ask specific questions about foreign objects, characters or places in your story. Just a few of many questions you can ask yourself are:
3. Include the 5 senses when describing unknown objects or people – make sure the reader understands completely the personality and characteristics of important things and people in your story.
4. Be sure to remember your details and never stray from them. Your characters and characteristics of objects need to be consistent. Make notes if you must, but make sure you never take your eye off the essence of the people and things in your novel.
5. Make the times and places believable. If you have a time where fantasy creatures lived in the 1800s – and they aren’t time travelers, which merits a whole new article topic – don’t have characters wearing a digital watch or asking Alexa where the nearest telephone is.
All that you read on fantasy is simply a guide to help you achieve the maximum potential your story might have – and these only scratch the surface of what all you can do in the realm of fantasy. Play with it, change it, create it, but don’t leave the readers behind when traveling through your journey.
“Five Tips For Planning A Fantasy Novel.” Tips on Writing a Fantasy Novel, The Writer's Bureau.
Trometter, Mrs. “Elements of Fantasy Literature.” LinkedIn SlideShare, LinkedIn, 30 Nov. 2011. 2 Mar. 2018.
Rodriguez, Julie. “Dos and Don'ts For Fantasy/Sci-Fi Writers.” Creative Writing Solutions, Creative Writing Lesson Plans and Resources.
Anamika, et al. “5 Essential Elements Every Fantasy Novel Needs.” Writer's Edit, 21 Nov. 2017.
Every time the word adventure is mentioned, The Lord of the Rings pops into my head. It is one of the most popular, complex adventure stories ever. Its depth of literary elements, character development, creativity and perilous situations make it one of the most successful stories of the century.
An adventure is defined as "an undertaking involving danger and unknown risks" (Merriam Webster). That's why The Lord of the Rings is a perfect example of an adventure. To make a successful adventure, these elements help as part of your story:
1. It's all in the danger - rarely will you read an adventure that only focuses on the description of character and the "hero's" internal struggles with life, values, etc. Most successful action movies consist of multiple plots placing the hero and his or her companions in danger.
2. What's new? - A story with a typical action plot and basic story line isn't as well received by readers as something they've never experienced or come across before. The unknown keeps people entertained and alert. A typical damsel being saved by a muscular hero from a fire breathing dragon isn't as much fun as a warrior queen being subject to her servants as they transform into monsters with ten arms and legs, green slimy skin and two heads full of teeth, ready to take over the kingdom. Both are adventures, but the creativity can really earn you points.
3. Flee repetition - What's more boring than having a hero fight off a typical enemy, get what he or she came for, leave, then have to fight the same type of enemy on his way back, then another after that one, then another....and just when he thought he made it out alive, here comes another...and - oh wait! There's another? Fighting the same enemy, especially over and over again, can get old fast for adventure seeking readers. Spice things up! Even if it's a similar situation as fighting an army of gigantic ants, but then the queen ant appears to avenge her workers' deaths. At least there's an escalation among enemies. Keep your enemies and dangers as fresh and original to your story as possible.
4. The "Why" Factor - Even in life, people have a reason for doing what they do, as reactive beings. Similarly, every hero has a reason for traveling on their adventure. Is he or she going to vanquish a certain growing evil? Is he or she fighting an enemy that is destroying a town, or the world? Is he or she destined for something? Is he or she defending a certain virtue? In essence, this factor explains why the hero is taking the risk to destroy someone or something.
5. Trusty Friends or Sidekick - Companions can help a hero along the way. Companions can be introduced at the beginning of the decision to go on the adventure, like in The Lord of the Rings where Frodo decides to take the ring to Mordor and the group agrees to go with him, or later on, like in The Chronicles of Narnia where the beavers help Lucy, Peter and Susan in the fight against the evil queen. Or, the hero's companions can stay with the protagonist throughout his or her entire adventure like Ron and Hermoine in the Harry Potter series. They can be whatever you want, do whatever you want and enter or leave whenever you want, while the protagonist accomplishes the goal set before him or her.
Thankfully, we are not limited certain types of adventures. Writers can make up a totally new adventure if they choose, and not all of them have to have these elements. Each adventure story has its own ways of maneuvering the enemy, the hero or heroes and the plot. Decide what kind of adventure you want your hero to have, and let the excitement begin!
Sims, Elizabeth. “How to Map Out Your Hero's Adventure in Your Manuscript.”WritersDigest.com, Writer's Digest, 12 Jan. 2015.
Cook, Jessica, et al. “Elements of an Adventure Story.” Pen and The Pad, Leaf Group Education, 11 Apr. 2017.
“Write an Adventure Story / So You Want To.” TV Tropes.
“Characteristics of Adventure.” Montgomery County Public Schools, pp. 1–2 (pdf)
Walker, Matt. “The Five Elements of Adventure: Authenticity, Purpose and Inspiration.”Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 8 Sept. 2011.
Crickets chirp in the darkness. The toad sitting calmly three inches away from your foot croaks as you lift your leg away from it. An owl hoots in the shadows, as if telling the night that you are up to no good. Suddenly stumbling through the dark forest, you happen upon a wooden shed with one shimmering light coming from the attic. Curiosity beckons you forward as you walk up the creaking steps of the front porch. As you open the door, nothing is visible in the thick air. You follow the light upstairs and into a room full of cobwebs. The light emanated from an old rustic lamp, its shade ripped on one side and its light revealing a stretched pale hand underneath the deep green bed sitting next to it. The rest of the mystery is history.
Mystery. Suspense. On the edge of your seat. That's what keeps the genre of mystery alive and amazing. It's filled with plot twists, suspense and excitement. But what really makes a mystery so good? There are certain criteria that are important to a mystery:
These elements are the essentials for writing a mystery, but there are a few key tips to keep the suspense strong in your story:
The best advice to follow is given in your own favorite mystery stories. What did the authors do in the story that you enjoyed? How did they portray characters, settings, suspense? Mysteries like Sherlock Holmes and Goosebumps didn't have everything out in the open. They built the plot up through the main character's eyes. They gave eerie scenes. They kept the mystery until the end. They created suspense. Are you ready to create your own suspense?
Just as we provided examples for MLA, having a visual for APA may help. Below are the four parts to the APA style paper or manuscript.
This is the title page of your APA manuscript or a project. Remember: this page should be separate, centered on the page with 12-point font and double spaced.
The second part to your APA type of document is the Abstract page, designed to provide the overall main points of your story or project in a 2-3 paragraphs.
The third part, your body of text, is the simplest part of the APA format, because you can call it your own. Included in this screenshot is the
The reference page is considered the most important section. Not much different from MLA, it still has its own quirks to keep a look out for.
Believe it or not, citations for APA style are not much different from MLA style. Both have the same information, just formatted in a different way. What information you can find will make due, just as in MLA style. In APA, citations are considered references, but both have the same purpose. So, let's look at the burden that is references in the APA format:
Guidelines for the APA Reference Page Are:
Full References at the End of Your Work:
EXAMPLE LAYOUT FOR WEBSITE:
REAL EXAMPLE FOR WEBSITE:
Note: The only information that will be in every website reference is the "Retrieved from" portion.
EXAMPLE LAYOUT FOR BOOK REFERENCE:
REAL EXAMPLE OF BOOK REFERENCE:
Remember: Whatever information you can get from each of your sources is what you use. It's not a requirement to seek out for all eternity the information you can't find by looking for it in the book or on the website. But it is a legal issue to not give credit to the people who helped you reach your conclusion and make your point. Don't shy away from citations or references because it looks like a lot of work - embrace them, because they give you credibility and a firm foundation for your readers!
Modig, D. Zeau. (2016, August 10). IIRP Graduate School Writing & APA Style Guidelines. Retrieved from http://www.iirp.edu/pdf/IIRP-APA-Guidelines.pdf.
Easybib. APA Formatting Rules for Your Paper. Retrieved from http://www.easybib.com/guides/students/writing-guide/iv-write/a-formatting/apa-paper-formatting/.
Paiz, J. M., Angeli, E., Wagner, J., Lawrick, E., Moore, K., Anderson, M., Soderlund, L., Brizee, A., Keck, R. (2017, November 11). Reference List: Electronic Sources (Web Publications). Retrieved from https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/10/.
(2011, March). MLA vs. APA. Retrieved from writingcenter.appstate.edu
FROM THE WRITER
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