Category Archives: Writing Tip

Generate Clients with this Non-Fiction Book Layout!

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Have you ever thought of writing non-fiction? Do you offer products or services? Do you think you might like to in the future?

As a writer, there is a system for reaching your earning potential.

Here are some hot tips on writing non-fiction to generate clients!

I’ve included a book outline to help you get started right away.

Having an outline makes it easier to write your book. Breaking it down into chunks or separate topics gives you the opportunity to sit down and do focused writing, one subject at a time.

The Generate Clients Layout is designed to do just that, make you money off the additional products and services you provide. It’s perfect for anyone who coaches, consults, accepts speaking engagements, provides training, or offers courses or webinars.

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INTRODUCTION

If you’re planning on using your book to generate clients, then this outline is for you.

In order to generate clients with your book, you’ll need a layout like the one that you’ll find here. It’s structured to keep the reader focused on the content of the book in the order that it’s presented.

Many readers will skim the contents of a book to grasp the key concepts, it’s the way of today’s busy world. If you want your audience engrossed in your book, soaking up its content, word for word, then this layout will accomplish that for you.


PERSONAL

Before you get started, it’s a good idea to write down your idea of success. This will give you a clear vision of what possibilities you will want to explore using your book as the foundation.

Remember that you are looking to build your business with your book, not just earn a residual income from it. Your audience is your sustainable business profit. Your mark of success is your active network, the people that will purchase your products.

RESEARCH:

Research your topic on amazon, YouTube, and Reddit. Look up popular material that relates to your topic. Study the way the content is structured.

Read through viewer comments and look for trends in what the readers or viewers are wanting – questions they have, likes and dislikes.

Then list the top ten questions or problems and intertwine them into your book. Be sure to take notes as you go.

VOICE:

The voice of your writing should be a conversational one. Tell, don’t sell until the final chapter.

You want your reader to feel as if you are talking with them. You want them to be compelled to talk back to your book.

NOTE ABOUT TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Many writers make the mistake of having boring chapter titles, or worse, descriptive chapter titles. The table of contents is a tool to entice the reader into reading, to draw them into starting from the beginning and consuming every chapter.

If your chapter titles are too descriptive, they’ll give the contents of the chapter away. If they know what the chapter’s about, chances are they’ll stop reading. If they assume they grasp the contents of the book, they won’t feel compelled to read on. They will skip over sections, or not read the book at all.

You want to approach naming your chapters as if you were creating headlines for content – what will make the reader investigate further.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. INTRODUCTION

There is an expectation of your readers that you, as a writer, are an expert on your subject, that you have special knowledge of the concepts which relate to it, that you have a clear idea of the aspects which should be addressed.

You want to introduce who you are, what you are addressing in the book, and what the reader will come away with. This sets the pace for your reader and creates anticipation.

Identify the problems – promise a solution: demonstrate to the reader that you understand them and that your book provides the solution to their problems

How is your approach different from others? Why will people think you have the right answers for them?

Don’t give away the key concepts.

In the chapters immediately following this one, you will approach your readers top concerns, one by one, and use metaphors and analogies to explain your solutions. If you need to add additional key concepts (solutions to concerns), feel free to do so, or, save the new key concepts for a second book.

What is your purpose? Your book should be able to transform into other products.

What are the main ideas you are trying to get across? What will this book enable your audience to do?

2. KEY CONCEPT A

Using metaphors and analogies to explain your solutions on a conceptual level.

Focus on tangible, quantifiable, measurable, concrete messages.

  • What: state the problem the reader is experiencing or how they relate to the key concept – why they should learn and apply it. The reader needs to feel as if you understand them. That you know what they are doing now may not be working – that you have the solution.
  • Why: give the reader the reasons why they should continue to read. Motivate them to read on. Tell them why they should keep reading, reinforce how this concept relates to them.
  • How: explain the solution to their problem conceptually, using metaphors and analogies.

3. KEY CONCEPT B

Using metaphors and analogies to explain your solutions on a conceptual level.

Focus on tangible, quantifiable, measurable, concrete messages.

  • What: state the problem the reader is experiencing or how they relate to the key concept – why they should learn and apply it. The reader needs to feel as if you understand them. That you know what they are doing now may not be working – that you have the solution.
  • Why: give the reader the reasons why they should continue to read. Motivate them to read on. Tell them why they should keep reading, reinforce how this concept relates to them.
  • How: explain the solution to their problem conceptually, using metaphors and analogies.

4. KEY CONCEPT C

Using metaphors and analogies to explain your solutions on a conceptual level.

Focus on tangible, quantifiable, measurable, concrete messages.

  • What: state the problem the reader is experiencing or how they relate to the key concept – why they should learn and apply it. The reader needs to feel as if you understand them. That you know what they are doing now may not be working – that you have the solution.
  • Why: give the reader the reasons why they should continue to read. Motivate them to read on. Tell them why they should keep reading, reinforce how this concept relates to them.
  • How: explain the solution to their problem conceptually, using metaphors and analogies.

5.  KEY CONCEPT D

Using metaphors and analogies to explain your solutions on a conceptual level.

Focus on tangible, quantifiable, measurable, concrete messages.

  • What: state the problem the reader is experiencing or how they relate to the key concept – why they should learn and apply it. The reader needs to feel as if you understand them. That you know what they are doing now may not be working – that you have the solution.
  • Why: give the reader the reasons why they should continue to read. Motivate them to read on. Tell them why they should keep reading, reinforce how this concept relates to them.
  • How: explain the solution to their problem conceptually, using metaphors and analogies.

6. STEP-BY-STEP METHOD

What if: here is where you want to lay out the step by step actions your reader can take to apply the solutions.

These steps should be tactile rather than conceptual.

Go through each step one-by-one. You can put all the steps in one chapter, or spread them out, one step –  per chapter.

7. SUMMARY

You want to end your book with the same momentum you started with, giving the book a proper ending.

Motivate and inspire: it’s important to use the right language, you don’t want to leave the reader feeling overwhelmed. You want them to feel satisfied and motivated to tackle the steps you provided.

You also by this point have earned their interest in any future work from you.

8. CLOSING

This is your opportunity to direct people to contact you to purchase your products and services. Your call to action. This chapter should be half the length of your previous chapters.

Who you serve: who is your specific audience? Your niche? Age? Financial status? Job description? Who are you selling to? What are the attributes of the people who will purchase your services? Express this to the reader so they can see that they are exactly the type of person who should be hiring you for personal help through one of your services.

How you serve them: keep them fascinated, tell them how you have solved problems for other people and how you can do the same for them. You want them to wish they had you on their team. By now you’ve created value with all you’ve given away within the book, so they should feel a bit compelled to repay you.

What next steps do you want your reader to take? Should they inquire about your services, give you a call, consult with you, go to your website? What body of knowledge do you possess that will make your audience take the next step?

You want people to hire you, that’s what your book is about – trying to make the phone ring.

Influence them – get them to buy into what you’re saying.


Have you thought of expanding your brand by writing non-fiction? Tell me about it in the comments below!

I’m open to any questions or comments you might have!


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Writing Chapter One – Tips from D. Wallace Peach

by D. Wallace Peach

I’ve wanted to write about first chapters for a while, primarily because they’re so important. After all, they’re the gateway to Chapter 2 and getting a reader to Chapter 2 is a fantastic idea.

I did some research and almost instantly the rule-resistant rebel in me kicked in. She’s the writer who scowls at formulas, who insists that form has to fit the story, not the other way around. She’s the reader who doesn’t want to read the same story over and over with different titles.

Well, I suppressed the first-born smarty-pants part of my personality and learned a few things.

First, I learned that there are actually a number of perfectly legitimate types of first chapters. Writer’s Digest has a great article by Jeff Gerke that describes 4 approaches with examples (summarized here):

  • The Prolog – A prolog is an episode that pertains to your story but does not include the hero (or includes the hero at a time well before the story proper begins, when he’s a child). It might not be “Chapter 1” per se, but it can serve as a legitimate opening—if it works.
  • The Hero Action Beginning – In a hero action beginning, the hero is onstage, doing something active and interesting related to the launching of the core story (it need not involve explosions and car chases, but it certainly can).
  • The In Medias Res Beginning (in the middle of things ) – With in medias res, you start at a point deep in the story, show a bit of activity to intrigue the reader, and then you hit the rewind button and spend some or all of the rest of the book catching up to that moment.
  • The Frame Device – The final major way of beginning your first chapter is to use a frame device. In this, your story is bookended on the front and back (and usually a few instances in the middle) by a story that is outside the main story. The primary tale is framed by this other story.

With that out of the way, I went in search of tips that apply to Chapter 1’s regardless of the book, tips that I could apply as I conceive of, write, and edit my stories. As usual, there are exceptions to these tips, and the list is not exhaustive.

Context: Backstory, Setting, and Detail

  • Avoid backstory. Include the bare minimum necessary and trickle the rest in as needed.
  • Don’t overdo setting. Give a smattering of strong, vibrant details to establish a sense of place and time. Then fill in the rest later as the story unfolds.
  • Connect the character to the setting so it isn’t just a backdrop. You might show how the character interacts with the setting.
  • There’s no need to skimp on details that serve the story. If your story is about snipers, give sniper details. Make sure they’re sharp and interesting. Avoid being vague. Write tight!

Structure: Theme, Mood, and Plot

  • Start the book as late in the story as you can. Does your story still work if you start with Chapter 2? If so, Cut chapter 1.
  • Write a great first line. A great first line grabs the reader’s interest.
  • The theme is the argument that the story is making. The first chapter should hint at theme.
  • Establish your mood. Ask yourself how you want the reader to feel while reading the book.
  • Think of every chapter as a short story with a mini-plot and conflict, especially Chapter 1.
  • Avoid telegraphing. Let the immediacy of the action carry the chapter to the end. Keep your pov tight.

 Character

  • Most writing experts will recommend introducing your protagonist in the first chapter. Some recommend introducing your antagonist as well. Avoid opening with other characters talking about the main character.
  • Make your reader care about your character. How is the character at risk?
  • Have your character engaged – active versus passive.
  • Not absolutely necessary, but dialog is a great way to reveal character, and conflict and manage pace.

Conflict

  • Have some sort of conflict – physical, emotional, or mental. Conflict disrupts the status quo. Conflict is drama and it’s interesting.
  • You don’t need to spell out the stakes for the entire book in chapter one, but hint at why the conflict matters.
  • A note on action: Rip-roaring action might be fun, but it’s best if the reader cares about the character. Without an investment in character and context, an action scene can feel shallow.

Hooks

  • End your first chapter and each chapter with a moment of mystery, an introduction of conflict, or a twist of the tale. It doesn’t have to be a huge one; it just needs to be intriguing enough to propel the reader forward.
  • Mystery. While action needs context, one of mystery’s strengths is that it makes the reader wait for context. It’s okay not to explain everything. At the same time, mystery does not equal confusion – find the balance.

Happy Writing!

Thanks for the Tips D  🙂     Source: Writing Chapter One – Tips

My Latest Project – A Writer’s Guide

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My Most Recent Project

A Writer’s Guide – Volume One

Working as an author consultant puts me in the position of helping many writers discover their author brand. It is typically the first exercise we address because knowing your brand enables you to create a comprehensive author platform that will work for you – a good platform will serve as your base where all of your efforts begin. It will successfully promote your talent and product. An author’s platform must be developed first – before the details of the packaging- before the creation of the content – before the writing of the book. An author’s platform is ann essential key to their success.

Defining your brand is the first step for any author or writer.

Setting up your author platform properly is crucial, and understanding your brand helps you do it right.

I follow the same process every time I approach author branding, and it works!

I am creating this guide to make the process of branding easy and fun.The results will be awesome for creating or improving your platform and growing your network.

Completing this workbook will help you to:

  1. Improve your platform or begin creating a brand-new one.
  2. Grow your network.
  3. Create exciting new content.
  4. Effectively market your books.
  5. And … set some new writing goals.

Who Needs This Workbook?

This workbook is for all writers who are ready to start their blog or website and it has tons to offer those who have already established their platforms.

  • The exercises in this writer’s manual are simple to follow. When you’re done with them all, you will have a refined view of your brand and all that it has to offer.
  • When you’re done with them all, you will have a refined view of your brand and all that it has to offer.
  • You will also have crucial information that can help you rapidly grow your network and market your books or products.

I Need Your Help!

  • I am looking for some people to join my launch team. There will be some awesome prizes!
  • I am hoping for some early reviewers that can help me make sure this workbook is perfect!
  • I would like to organize a blog tour. I will be contacting some of you in the near future, or you can contact me if you’re interested in hosting the tour – I’m launching the last week of July! I’m also happy to accept guest posts on my blog if you’re interested.
  • Any input or feedback you have to offer would be much appreciated.

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I am so thankful for anyone who’s willing to participate in whatever way they can. So please, contact me if you’re interested.

If you have any tips or advice for me at all, I’d love to hear that too! 🙂

Thank You!

5 Ideas That Will Motivate You to Write

If you’re a writer then you know what it is to have down times, times where you don’t produce any writing at all.

It could be any number of things that gains your attention and leaves the task of writing on the back-burner. Work, school, kids, depression or a frantic schedule can all take priority over your writing goals.

If you’re looking for ideas that will motivate you to get some writing accomplished immediately, then these tools might work for you.

The Usual Advice

I recently started a second job, full time, that seemed to eat up any spare time I had for writing. There were better things to do with my spare time like just unwind… zone out after a busy day. I lacked motivation because I was tired and my mind wasn’t into being creative.

I wasn’t meeting my goals with my writing and readers of my blog were starting to ask questions, wondering where I’d disappeared to. I stared at a blank screen more than once without a clue what to write about, and unable to muster my creativity.

Finally, I did what writers do and went in search of ideas on how to get motivated. All of the tools I came across seemed to be the same ones I’ve heard time and time again that just don’t seem to always work for me personally. But they deserve to be mentioned…

  1. Set aside a regular time to write.
  2. Find a good place to write and stick to it.
  3. Set a writing quota.
  4. Show up.
  5. Minimize distractions.
  6. It’s okay to write like crap.

Like I said, these are some great bits of advice, but not always enough to get most of us writing right now….

5 Tools to Get You Writing Now!

I find that keeping to the basics makes it easier to get back to writing right now, to bust through the writer’s block.

ONE

Use what you know. For me, getting some words into my writing quota means looking into my thoughts and seeing what’s lingering there. What’s on my mind – take what’s on your mind and use it to your writing advantage. If your working on a book, you can write a single scene, even if it’s out of sync. If you’re posting to your blog, you can use what’s on your mind to develop some interesting content for your readers. Using what’s in the forefront of your thoughts brings more passion into your writing because it’s what’s most important to you right now.

TWO

Research an idea. If nothing in your head appeals to your creativity or seems to be enough to spark the motivation to write, then try surfing the web for articles that interest you. The bonus involved is that you can take the time to visit your network and see what they’ve had to say lately. Chances are, what you read will get your creativity brewing.

THREE

Brainstorm for ideas and structure. Once you’ve got a basic thought to drive you, start brainstorming that general theme and find your own fresh take on it. The conclusions you come to are the basis of content creation. If you don’t find the theme useful now, save what you write for a future date.

FOUR

Create an outline. Take the general themes or conclusions you’ve come to and get constructive by creating a few outlines. Even just a few bullet points that generalize your idea are enough to serve as motivators for writing. Just fill in the blanks.

FIVE

Stop what you’re doing and start writing. I find that 90% of the battle sometimes is just starting to type. I remind myself that it doesn’t have to be perfect and how good it always feels to get some writing done. So this is basically a repeat of the usual advice…show up. Sit down and just start, even if it’s just rambling at first until you find something worth writing about. Getting some words on paper will break the ice and works to get you back into a regular rhythm of writing.

Staying Motivated

Most importantly, when it comes to having accomplished a creative goal like writing, is to reward yourself. It doesn’t matter if you dislike what you produced of if the work was phenomenal, reward tricks your brain into creating a habit. So find a simple way to reward yourself for your efforts.

Unique Articles On Writing Motivation:


Image Copyright: Marcel De Grijs

How to Write Flash Fiction

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WHAT IS FLASH FICTION?

Flash fiction is a short-short story told in 2000 words or less. It is my current area of interest because I’m wanting to enter a few pieces in a flash fiction contest, the one I blogged about last week.

So here I sit asking myself where to begin, and my best bet is to learn a few things about what goes into writing a great piece of flash fiction.

At first thought, writer’s who are unfamiliar with these short shorts might think it seems like a fairly easy task to undertake. But considering the limited amount of space that you have to get your story to work its magic, I’m assuming it might actually be a bit more difficult than expected.

Creating just the right setting, only the necessary dialogue – in fact, the perfect dialogue, creating an atmosphere that begs to be explored further, all of this could be a bit of a struggle in the few words available within flash fiction.

WHERE TO BEGIN?

  • With short shorts you need to start in the action, so choose a flashpoint to begin your story.
  • Plot matters less than mood and the details of the telling.
  • What is left out is just as important as what’s included in the writing.
  • Pick one theme.
  • Pay close attention to language.
  • Opt for understated elegance.
  • Subtlety is key.

From the research I’ve done, it’s my understanding that you what to pick a portion of your scene and build on it, let the small focal point tell the story. Keep your readers engrossed with the story that scene tells with all its details and then hit them with an unexpected twist at the end, leaving them wanting more.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO

  1. Be concise without strangling your plot and characters.
  2. Remember to deliver your message.  No one likes empty envelopes.
  3. Make your prose intense. You can’t burn the reader.
  4. Learn from the birds. Tweet, tweet, tweet(er).
  5. Use prompts to hone your skills.

WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T DO

  1. Don’t go in circles. You don’t have room for that.
  2. Don’t try to wear many hats. Flash has space only for one or two.
  3. Don’t mince words. You are writing a flash and not making hamburger patties.
  4. Don’t be afraid to experiment. You don’t want to repeat what others have written.
  5. Don’t forget that flash is a story and not a poem or essay.

Wish me luck! I would love to write piles and piles of flash fiction – tons of small stories sounds like a rewarding endeavor.

Please let me know in the comments section below if you have any more tips for me or for fellow readers.