What Harry Did Right

When approaching Young Adult fiction, there is a singular holy grail of modern achievement.  I can’t recall a series that had such equal appeal across age and gender.  Naturally, I’m talking about Harry Potter.

Now, when you have a series as big as Harry, there are going to be the naysayers and pundits that want to tear the book apart and justify why it should not be the success it clearly is.  As writers, I don’t think any of us really care about Harry’s grammar, structure or any other negatives people drag up.  What we care about is, why does it work, and how can we use those lessons to improve our own chances of success.  Well, I have a handy series for you to look at that can do just that!

Jane Friedman’s website There Are No Rules contains a wealth of advice and information.  One particular series of articles, contributed by guest writer Jim Adam takes a look at The Strengths of the Harry Potter Series.  There’s a wealth of things to learn from looking at the fundamental elements that makes Harry Potter work.  I know the first article, on being able to sum a plot in one sentence, gave me some serious pause on my own work in progress.  I went back to ensure my story held up to this seemingly simple test.  Initially, it didn’t, and I realised I was writing more of a concept than an actual story.  Some serious soul searching and digging in the guts of what I was writing eventually produced that simple sentence, and I found almost immediately everything seemed more cohesive.

So go check the link.  I found every single one of the points useful and will be returning again and again just to check.  There are far worse role models.

iPad the key to future self publishers?

Today sees the release of the iPad in the United States.  For those of us in Canada and many other parts of the world, we still need to wait a couple of weeks before we see this shiny new device.  Naturally, everyone is waiting to see just what success the iPad will be.  With the power of Apple behind it, I have little doubt that the iPad will be a winner.  Will it be a champ?  We’ll see.  I don’t think we’re talking iPod or iPhone type domination, so I don’t think laptops should be shaking yet.

That said, if I was really interested in getting an Ebook reader, I think I’d rather spend the extra $200 and get an iPad.  Afterall, with full colour internet connectivity, the ability to use Apple’s Pages software to write and run the millions of iPhone apps, well, that’s pretty awesome.

For writers, the iPad’s success could mean a whole new way of getting our work into the hands of consumers.  While self-publishing has had a somewhat sketchy reputation in the past, the iPad allows for products to look professional, yet be produced at virtually no cost to the author.

This link, that I was pointed to by someone on Twitter (sorry, no credit cause I forget who, I opened it in Safari) gives some ideas on How to Get Your Novel on the iPad.

Giving it some thought, this could open a whole new area for freelance book cover designers as well.  I mean, having a great cover graphic would go a long way to help sell the product.

I’d much prefer to be published by an actual publisher, though I suppose that’s more a pride thing.  At least this exists as a possible back-up plan!

Plotting Your Novel

In writing my own novel, I am on the constant lookout for new and useful guidance.  Twitter has been a surprisingly useful tool in finding resources.  This particular link was from @Indie_Elf.

These are ten very simple devices to help with plotting a novel.  When you read them, it’ll seem pretty obvious, but all too often people miss the obvious.  I know I have been guilty of it on more than one occasion.

Follow the link to see more information on Plotting Your Novel.

Welcome

Welcome to my webspace!  I’m currently working on my first novel written for the Young Adult market.  It is a science-fiction/fantasy novel.  I have just started and I’m only 9,000 words in.  This blog will be my journey of writing the book, editing the book and getting it published.  After those amazing feats are completed, I suppose this will become a blog that follows me on my journey in writing future novels and promoting the one I already have out.

I’m not ambitious at all 😉

So welcome, and I hope you find something interesting in the journey I’m taking.  Since I’m not an accomplished writer with loads of advice to share on my own, I’ll also be posting links to the people, websites and articles I have found useful.

And this is where it all begins….