Guest post by Paperbacks & Wine's Mel Flickinger
So excited to have author, poet, and author assistant extraordinaire M.L. Flickinger. She's one of the most wonderful people: creative, helpful and caring. And her writing advice is on point. Check it out:
Several years ago I decided to take a break from the many semesters of psychology and counseling courses and enrolled in a novel writing course through the University of Iowa. It was an impulsive move that I then proceeded to stress out over for weeks before the course began. What was I thinking enrolling into a novel writing class? How in the world would I be able to complete this type of project? Sure, I had written short stories or poetry...and many, many, many term papers. But a novel- that’s a major commitment. I didn’t even have an idea for a story.
I started plotting what I could write about and this is what I decided to go with: vampires. A vampire who feeds off of the world’s sadness. Draining his victims despair one pint of blood at a time. Creative right? (Umm...no, not so much. Vampires have been, done over, overdone and are flat out over. No more vampires. Please.)
However, that is what I had intended to write. I thought that was what people wanted to read. I struggled trying to fill in an outline that would be satisfactory. I typed words, I deleted them, I cried over them, I hated them. I regretted signing up for this impossible class- and it had yet to even start.
When the class did finally begin that fall, here is what I learned:
Since taking this novel writing class (which I got an A in, thank you very much!), I have written several short stories and poetry. I am in the process of writing my first fiction novel - and no, there are no vampires. Keeping these tips in mind helps me - and I hope they might help you as well.
M.L. Flickinger is a book marketing manager and author assistant. She is the founder of Paperbacks and Wine, a blog featuring book marketing tips and author promotion.
Currently living in Iowa with her family, M.L. enjoys long walks, campfires, coffee, and reading.
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H.M Jones is the author of B.R.A.G Medallion Honor and NIEA finalist book Monochrome, its prequel Fade to Blue, the Adela Darken Graphic Novellas, Al Ravien's Night, The Immortals series, and several short stories.