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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