There are many strategies to make six figures as an author, but there are ten core principles that any successful writer must follow to achieve this type of success. Now, I will share them with you.
#1. Create a quality product
First and foremost, you get paid for bringing value to the marketplace.You do not get paid for books. You get paid for bringing value. So if you release a hundred cheap, low-quality books, you won’t make six figures. Everything You release must have a standard of excellence, especially if you are an independently published author. People tend to discount mistakes in a traditionally published book with little thought. But if they find an error in an indie book, they make a big deal of it. Why do we have this double standard? I don’t know? I know that it is a real problem, and you must watch this. Nobody’s perfect but make sure everything you publish is well written and edited to the best of your ability.
#2. Think of yourself as an entrepreneur
Most successful authors think of themselves as entrepreneurs. They don’t think of themselves as only a writer. They think of themselves as a business owner. I am an author, but I am also a speaker, a businesswoman, a podcaster, a YouTuber, a blogger, and a marketing junkie. I’m sure I could add more, but you get the point. I am officially an entrepreneur. I write books, yes, but my business is Synova Ink Publishing. As an entrepreneur, I have a written business plan for Synova Ink Publishing, and every so often, I will refer back to it. If I am not furthering my goals, I will find another path. The key is I think of myself as a business owner.
#3. Know your target audience
Every successful author out there knows their target audience. You can’t be everything to everyone. You’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. That’s okay. You must find the people interested in your type of work and market to them. Don’t advertise to the masses. You’ll waste a bunch of time and money and won’t see very many results. The point is to find your target audience and focus on them. Provide value to them and forget the rest.
#4. Have a marathon mindset
Successful Indie authors have a marathon mindset. They don’t just work on one book at a time and focus on that alone. They don’t put all their hopes and dreams into their first book and then never write another one. Every successful six-figure author out there has a series of books available.
#5. Building a mailing list
The money is in the list. You might think JK Rowling doesn’t have a mailing list. She might not, but there are millions of Harry Potter fans on a mailing list, and you can guarantee that her publishing house has them on a list. Now, if you are your own publishing house, you better have a list. Nowadays, traditionally published authors have to have their own list before reaching success. So go ahead and start building a list of email addresses. Start with your friends and family. I don’t care who it is. Start a list later on. You can narrow it down to your target audience. But start somewhere
#6. Think outside of the paperback
You need to think outside of the confines of a paperback book. There are ways to provide value to the marketplace as a writer beyond the paper. Of course, ebooks are available for those who like to read on their phones. There are audiobooks for those who prefer to listen in their cars. But there is even more available besides those three options. I’ll give you an example.
I used to write about cold cases that needed more publicity for those of you who have just started following me. I worked with the victim’s family members to raise awareness about their case, hoping to bring in leads for law enforcement. So how did I do this? I realized that every cold case needed several things. I highlighted the story by writing an article for my blog.
Then I made a series of YouTube videos about the case for my channel. I also had a podcast where I reviewed the cases and sometimes interviewed the victim’s family members. I also put their story in one of my case files books at the end of the year. So how did this help raise awareness about the story?
Instead of the story being in one place, we ended up with a blog post, YouTube video, a podcast episode, a paperback book, an ebook, and an audiobook. So, I had taken the same story and recreated it six times. How many more people have I reached by saying the same thing six different ways? Think about this in your business. How many more people will see your story if you share it in different ways?
#7. Keep learning
William S. Burroughs once said, “when you stop growing, you start dying.” The more you learn and know, the more your business can grow and help more people. Trends are constantly changing, so you must keep learning about your industry. Now the trends in the fantasy industry aren’t the same for True Crime writers, and they are definitely different in the coaching industry. I don’t study the trends for Fantasy writers except for on the occasion when I am coaching a fantasy writer. I do constantly study marketing, personal development, and business.
#8. Avoid burnout
I struggle with this. I will be honest with you. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the process that you forget yourself. Focus on organizing your projects and schedule in time for yourself. Learn to say no to projects and people that don’t serve your highest goals. It’s hard, but if you don’t take care of that beautiful brain of yours, you won’t be able to write.
Find something bigger than yourself
When I started writing, I started writing things that I enjoyed. I quickly learned that this was not enough to keep me focused for the long run. Remember, we’re on a marathon here. Once I found my purpose, I got a drive within me to keep me going. When you’re working for something bigger than yourself, and you’re trying to make the world a better place, it pulls you through the hard times. It helps keep you focused and moving when you’re tired, when you’re sick, and when you feel like giving up. Find a purpose outside of yourself for your business.
No man is an island. We’ve all heard that saying, but we tend to be more reclusive as writers. We’re more comfortable in our own space, typing away hiding in our imagination. Unfortunately, that is not conducive to good business practice. Networking is vital when it comes to building a business. Find chances to network both online and in person. Don’t forget to cross-promote those writers in your genre too. By cross-promoting them, you actually open up their audience to you.
Millionaire Success Habits: The Gateway to Wealth & Prosperity
Millionaire Success Habits is a book designed with one purpose in mind: to take you from where you are in life to where you want to be in life by incorporating easy-to-implement “Success Habits” into your daily routine.
Today I spoke with a fellow victim’s advocate who is trying to outline her book. Her greatest desire is to reach the hearts of millions. I won’t say her name, but if she is a powerhouse. Her victim to vitality story will inspire anyone who reads it, and I know she will encourage victims.
I’m honored to be her writing coach, her mentor, and her friend. I have many coaching clients. I have people who want to write fiction, people who want to write about true crime. I have people who want to write children’s books. But this woman is very near and dear to my heart because I know her story is true. She spent her entire young life a victim of violence and abuse. Now she has emerged as of victorious example for those around her.
Do you have a similar story that you wish you could get into a book? If so, I can help you get it in print. I can show you how to build an audience for it and make a career out of sharing your story with the world. That’s what the “Get Your Book Done Now” course is all about.
As you know, I’m launching this new course this week, and I’m running specials from now until Valentine’s Day. Not only am I giving away free ebooks for those who sign up for my coaching services, but I’m also giving away free coaching calls. These calls usually cost $500 apiece, but I am giving them away because I want to help you find clarity with your writing.
By the end of our call, you will be inspired and motivated to write your book. I will help you outline a strategy for finishing your project and give you tips on starting your marketing campaign.
If you would like to take that step and become a published author, follow the link below and sign up for your free coaching session. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek” – Joseph Campbell.
“An organized writer is a productive writer” –Synova Cantrell
I travel all over the Ozarks, speaking to various writing groups spanning all genres. I hear one complaint throughout every group. “I can’t get very much accomplished. I don’t have enough time. What am I doing wrong?” The answer lies in your organization. Here are a few tips to make the most of your time.
“Don’t mistake a busy day with productivity. You may have done a lot but was it in the right direction, and something worthwhile?” – Jim Rohn.
I: Organize your Time:
Everyone wants to be their own boss, but this freedom has its setbacks. Housework, yard work, and procrastination can hinder your work ethic if you let them. Schedule time to write and let others know you are ‘at work.’ Create a “writer at work” sign and post it on your door if needed.
Plan what you will do during your writing time the day before. This way, you won’t spend half of your time deciding what you need to do. Make a list of five things that you need to do and list them in order of importance.
Jim Rohn suggests that every night before you go to bed, you do this planning procedure for your next day, whether it be organizing your housework, organizing your to-do list for your day job, or in my case, organizing my writing time.
II: Organize your papers:
Go as paperless as possible. I know it’s hard for those of us who were raised in the 1980s. We love the color-coordinated notebooks, the fluorescent sticky notes, and the highlighter pens, but it’s 2020. Most of those things can be stored on your computer’s hard drive or an online cloud storage service. Save yourself a headache and save a few trees. Try to go as paperless as possible. There are a ton of online organizational tools available.
Google Docs allows you to upload all of your word documents onto the google cloud and automatically saves your progress. That means no more losing your work when your computer crashes.
The Google Playstore on your android phone has several document scanning apps. These apps will allow you to take a photo of your documents and save them to your choice of locations. Iphones offer their own renditions of scanning apps.
III: Implement a note-taking system or journal:
After going on my rant about being paperless, I suggest that you implement a note-taking system or a journal. Now there are plenty of online tools available for you if you would like to keep your journaling paperless. You can use Google Docs with the talk-to-text option, or you can use Evernote.
However, if you are like me, I still have a hardcover notebook that I carry around with me for my journaling exercises. Why do you need a journal? It is simple. What happens when you are in the middle of something important, and you get a million-dollar idea for your book? Do you grab a scrap of paper and try to scribble it down before you forget? Or do you simply rely on your memory?
We get distracted easily, or at least I do. I lose little scraps of paper, and I hate digging through piles of paper, trying to find the one corner that had my note on it. Instead of doing that, I have a beautiful gold foiled notebook that I carry around with me. I write down all my ideas and all my thoughts, whether they’re good or bad. Then when it’s full, I put it on my bookshelf with my other books. I can always refer back to that notebook to see how far I have progressed in my business and to get good ideas I may have forgotten to implement.
However you decide to accomplish this, I recommend that you start gathering all of your ideas in one place, whether online or in a notebook. I love the beautiful foiled notebooks and journals from Flame Tree Books.
IV: Keep Track of Your Work Hours:
Keep track of your work hours. Why would you do this? For one, the biggest excuse I hear is, “I don’t have enough time to write.” There are thousands of articles online about time management. I even have a video about time management on YouTube. In reality, time management is impossible. We all have 24 hours in a day. That’s all. We need to manage our to-do list. We can’t manage the time, but we can control how we spend it.
What happens if you have an hour to work on your writing? If you’re like most, you will sit down at your computer, laptop, or phone and promptly get distracted by social media, research, or a call. By the time you are done, you have written for about 15 minutes, and 45 minutes was wasted.
If you keep track of your work hours, this will let you see patterns in your schedule. Perhaps every Tuesday, there is too much going on, but you could write for an hour uninterrupted on Fridays. Keep track of your hours for a couple of weeks and then go back and see if you notice any patterns. I use Excel spreadsheets for this, but Google has a free option called Google Sheets.
V: Keep A Word Count Log:
I tell my author coaching clients to keep a word count log. This idea might seem like just one more spreadsheet wasting space on your hard drive, but I assure you it is essential.
You can’t reach a goal if you never set the goal in the first place. So many people I meet want to write a book, but they never set a goal and lay out a plan to accomplish it. I suggest you set a goal of writing your book within 12 months. Do some research and find out how many words your book should have according to your genre.
Then take that word count total and divide it by 52. This quick math problem will give you the word count total that you need to accomplish every week. Divide that number by the hours you have to spend each week on writing time. Then create your spreadsheet and write down your word count as you go. This process will let you know if you are on target to reach your goals. If you fall behind, perhaps you could carve out more time to write, or you could use your time more wisely.
If you are consistently falling short of your goal, then perhaps you need to extend you’re in plan and finish your book in 18 months. I have designed a free word tracker for you to use if you would prefer to print it out.
I currently run both sides of Synova Ink Publishing, the true-crime side, and the author coaching side mostly by myself. I also have become an administrator for the National Crime Syndicate, an elite group of crime writers.
My weekly schedule includes writing and editing blog posts, coordinating a team of guest bloggers, conducting author coaching calls, recording at least two LIVE videos a week, editing and creating 1-3 YouTube videos a week, and writing my books. If that wasn’t enough, I’m now starting to find sponsors for a possible true-crime television show.
I have found in this chaos; if I can schedule my posts ahead of time, it makes my life a lot easier. This concept applies to both blog posts and social media posts. If I schedule out all of my social media posts in advance, it also eliminates the opportunity to get distracted by Facebook.
VII: Schedule Research time:
I know this may sound crazy, but I suggest you schedule your research time. For those who don’t follow the true-crime side of my business, I research cold cases that have been forgotten by traditional media. I have to dig through old case files, newspaper archives and spend hours online searching the internet. This process can take up so much time that I never start writing. Not only have I started to schedule my research time, but I have also brought on a couple of eager associates who love the research part of my business. They will help me research the cases and send me all the information. Then I can write from their research. Why do I do this? Well, I find that research is also an awful lot like social media distractions. It is easy to get swept away and never get to the actual writing process.
VIII: Outsource What You Can:
I am learning to do this as we speak. I have built Synova Ink Publishing into the empire it is by myself. Now it is getting big enough that I need help. It is hard to hand over the reins to something I have worked so hard for, but I find it is impossible to maintain and build my business without help.
I recently brought in a team of guest bloggers to help maintain my true-crime blog as I am working on other things. I also have a couple of researchers who help research the cold cases for my blog. I also have a few social media people helping to share my posts across all of my platforms. Eventually, I will hire a virtual assistant to help with these things and free up my time a little more. To grow, sometimes you have to let go.
Next time you are tempted to say you don’t have enough time to write, think about these things. Is the problem really time, or is it task management?
The Amazon links on this page are affiliate links and Synova receives a small commission from your purchase. This commission goes to maintain this website and blog. With your help, Synova will continue to provide free writing tips and tricks on her blog for aspiring writers worldwide.
Writing a memoir can be a daunting task for many aspiring writers, but it doesn’t have to be. With these few tips and tricks, Synova shows you how to break the task down to a manageable size.
#1. Gather Ideas
Don’t start randomly writing and expect to complete a book. Instead, take your time to gather all the ideas into a notebook or word file on your computer. Inevitably ideas seem to hit me at 2 am when I’m supposed to be sleeping. Collect the stories whether you think they will fit or not. Then you can edit out the unnecessary ones later.
#2 Discover Your Purpose:
Narrow your focus and discover why you want to write a book in the first place. Do you want to share your experiences with your grandkids, or are you looking to help an audience of trauma victims? Determine your purpose before you begin, and you’ll find this will guide you through the writing, editing, and eventually marketing processes.
#3 What Is the Growth Experience?
Memoirs need to convey your growth experience, not just tell a story. The reader expects to see a change in you throughout the book. What have you learned from this life experience? How did you arrive at this new place of growth and maturity? How will it help the reader? Is it relatable?
#4 Narrow the Focus
A memoir is not an autobiography that tells a person’s entire life story. Instead, a memoir is about a specific life event or journey. Don’t write it in chronological order. You still need to hook your reader with a compelling first chapter. Sometimes it’s best to start at the lowest point in the hero’s journey and then cut back to the beginning.
#5 Show Don’t Tell
As with any good writing, make sure you paint a picture in the reader’s mind with your words. Don’t merely tell them event by event in a sequential order like a textbook. Use descriptive words that relate to the person’s five senses. Express the emotions you felt during the journey.
#6 Be Honest
Don’t embellish a story to make it more interesting. If you feel it needs embellishing, then perhaps it isn’t pertinent to the story and needs to be cut out entirely. Be honest with yourself during the planning process. You have to be brutally honest some times when writing in this genre. Are you ready to open yourself up to the critique of millions? This question you must answer when writing a memoir.
#7 Write the 1st Draft
Planning is essential, but at some point, you have to sit down and write. I encourage my authors to write in “topics.” Instead of worrying about what to write next, pick out twenty topics you want to include, and write about each topic. Then you can go back and arrange them in a logical order. For more information on this type of writing, check out my video on the subject here.
Some people find it easier to write using the “interview method.” To accomplish this, you interview yourself as a journalist would. This concept helps some writers focus and get the information down. Use whichever technique that works best for you. The important thing is to get the first draft written. You can edit and revise later.
#8 Traditional vs. Indie Publishing
Decide how you would like to publish your book BEFORE you complete the manuscript. You will need to do different things, depending on your decision. For example, if you publish traditionally, you must follow their guidelines on word counts, topics, and publishing schedules. If you choose indie publishing, then the word counts are up to you.
After working through these eight tips, the important thing to remember is to enjoy the journey. Don’t stress over the process. Get your message down on paper, or on a word file on your computer. You can always hire editors to spruce up your work. Remember, don’t be preachy when it comes to the “moral of the story.” Humans learn best when they come to their own conclusions. Also, remember to consider others when writing about the people in your life’s journey. They may not want to be included in such a personal story. If this is the case, you might change their name, or omit them entirely. Whatever the case may be, remember that if you feel compelled to write your story, then there’s someone out there who needs to read it.
We either think our lives are so special that everyone should be interested in what’s happened to us, or so ordinary that we can’t imagine anyone would care. The truth lies somewhere in between: yes, we are all special, and no, people will notcare—unless we write with them in mind.Joanne Fedler, a beloved writing teacher and mentor, has written Your Story to help all people, even those who don’t necessarily identify as “writers,” value their life stories and write them in such a way that they transcend the personal and speak into a universal story. This book shows how to write from your life, but for the benefit of others. Each human life is unique, and the meaning we each make from our joys and suffering can, if written with a reader in mind, be an act of generosity and sharing. Filled with practical wisdom and tools, the book tackles: •mindset issues that prevent us from writing •ways to develop trust (in yourself, the process, the mystery) •triggers or prompts to elicit our own stories •Joanne’s original techniques for “lifewriting” developed over a decade of teaching and mentoring •and much more”Joanne understands the writer’s loneliness,” says one such writer whose life she’s touched, the award-winning Israeli author Nava Semel. “In this book she has created a menu of encouraging possibilities on how to overcome our fears and dig deep into our souls, so that our true voice can emerge.”
This book emphasizes the process of creating your memoirs. This can help you turn writing and thinking about your life into an experience that has a new purpose. It is designed so you can write about one aspect of your life at a time, thus reducing the complexity and removing the stress of trying to create one long continuous story.You will find answers to question you never knew to ask. It is about your family history, social history, to share with your descendants and the world.Babette Jenny, PsyD says this, “As a clinical psychologist, I find this book very helpful for clients who seek a clearer sense of who they are and their personal life journey. It is very flexible and user friendly. This book can be approached from a variety of perspectives, whether it be photos and artwork, narratives, lists, or documents. It allows the user to work at their own pace, dipping in and out of memories, periods of time, events and emotion, gradually assembling a coherent whole that is the story of their life.” By Wendy Comstock, “…In addition to being a wonderful way for people to refelect on their past, this workbook is also an outstanding roadmap for younger people just starting their careers and families, reminding us that creating meaningful memoirs and recording them, in emotionally relevant ways is a wonderful way for people to connect across generations.. I envision lingering over this workbook for some time to come, reflecting, remembering, bridging significant memories, and making deeper meaning from the experiences in my life.” Wendy Comstock, MD This book is divided into 100 topic with hundreds of questions, 26 A-Z tool sheets to ask about the factual info of your life and then a life calendar you fill
The amazon links on this page are affiliate links and Synova receives a small commission from your purchase. This commission goes to maintain this website and blog. With your help Synova will continue to provide free writing tips and tricks on her blog for aspiring writers world-wide.
Studies say 70% of Americans want to write a book but they never will. Why? It’s intimidating sometimes when you have a dream but don’t know the steps to achieve your goal. Here are 12 basic steps to take you from idea to finished manuscript.
1. Clarify Your Big Idea
Many think they know what their big idea is, but find it difficult to explain to others. Take a moment, in the beginning, to get clear on the subject before jumping in headfirst. I realize your topic may not be appropriate for children, but IF you wanted to explain it to a ten-year-old, would they understand the concept? If so, then your big idea is clear. If not, then maybe you should go back and work on it.
2. Identify & Research your genre
So many aspiring writers claim their books cannot be labeled and won’t fit into the genre mold. Every book that is published (Even self-published) must have a category. Whether it is in a bookstore or on Amazon, a book is placed in a genre so it can be shown to interested readers and sold. If you cannot label your book when you already know how wonderful it is, how will a reader?
After determining the best genre for your book, I suggest you find the top five authors in the category and start researching them. What is their subject? Take note of their book cover designs. Do they have similar titles? Look for patterns that you can emulate in your work. Notice I said EMULATE, not copy.
3. Create an outline
I suggest everyone have a rough outline for their fiction and nonfiction books. Now I am not talking about all those nice bullet-pointed documents we all made in high school. I suggest writers have a basic overview of where they want their story to go and how their characters will grow. For nonfiction, create a list of 10-25 topics you want to cover in the book. Having some sort of outline will give you direction and keep you from writing yourself into a corner.
4. Hook the Reader
Hook your reader’s attention in the first line of your book. Follow it up with a riveting page or two before breaking off into the content of your book.
5. Focus on VALUE
Focus on providing value in your narrative. Remember, you don’t get paid for time or products. You get paid for bringing value to the marketplace. How is the reader going to find this valuable? Is it entertaining? Is it Inspirational or educational? Focus on providing what the reader wants, and you will find more success than just peddling books on the street corner.
6. Set goals
Setting a deadline to finish your book seems like an obvious goal, but so many people don’t do it.
They say they want to finish a book at some point in their lifetime, but they never set a date. Decide when you want to finish the first draft, when you want to have it ready for an editor, and when you want to send it to a publisher. The more goals you set, the better off you are. That is if you follow through and meet each goal.
7. Establish a writing routine
Many people say they don’t have time to write, but they might carve out several hours to watch TV every day. Why not take one of those hours and write on your book? Even if you only have thirty minutes, take the time to work on your dream. The more you do this, the easier it will be to establish a writing routine.
8. Set up a productive space
Having a specific place to write helps some people get into the writing mood. If you have a lot of distractions, then it might be a good idea to find a separate place away from the noise to work on your book.
9. Keep yourself motivated
It’s easy to start your writing journey when you’re excited, but after that initial emotion expires, some writers find it hard to continue. Staying motivated during this lull is vital to your success. If you cannot do it alone, then I suggest you find an accountability partner.
10. Don’t rush the ending
During the long days of writing, it can become tempting to hurry the ending. Most of the time, the writer already knows the ending and finds it exciting. To avoid this problem, I suggest you go ahead and write the ending. Then you can set it aside and get back to writing the middle of the story. The last thing you want to do is rush the ending and leave your readers hanging with questions.
11. Get feedback
Many aspiring writers go to local writer’s groups and have them critique their work. I do not suggest this. I know it sounds harsh, but in many cases, these groups are a bunch of local aspiring writers who know little more than you do. Instead, find someone who knows the business of writing in your genre and have them read your manuscript. Get feedback from friends and family, but keep in mind that their opinions are just opinions. Don’t let them discourage you if they are negative.
12. Publish your book
Now that you have finished your book, it’s time to get it published. You can choose to publish traditionally by submitting a submission package to a publishing house, or you can upload it to Amazon yourself.
What if I told you one thing that would put you in the top three percent of Americans and put you ahead of the pack? This simple procedure will determine your future success more than almost anything else, and yet a staggering 97% of people do not take the time to do it. What is it, you ask? Goal Setting.
I know you’ve probably heard of goal setting a thousand times, but have you created your list of goals? Probably not. I know it sounds harsh, but most people have a vague idea of what they want, but never actually sit down and decide what they want. So many people say they want to write a book and make more money. Ok. Well, here you go. Write the book, upload it to Amazon, beg your mom to buy it, and now you have more money. I’m sure that’s not what you meant, but it technically achieved the vague goal you set, didn’t it?
A well thought out goal is like a compass. It points you in the right direction; it keeps you on target and helps clarify your dreams. So what kind of goals do you need to be a successful writer? Well, that depends on how you define success. A New York Times Bestselling author has a different set of goals than a grandfather writing a children’s book for his grandkids. Decide today what exactly do you want and then write it down.
Start your goal setting session on a positive note by writing down five things that you’ve already accomplished in your life. Then spend the next few minutes creating a list of desires by answering this question, “What would I love?”
Remember when we were all kids, and someone asked us what we wanted for Christmas? We didn’t think of practical things. We wanted a flying car, a purple pony, a rainbow unicorn, etc. After a while, we become more cynical and stop asking for our desires and ask for practical things. A lot of times we don’t even ask at all. For this goal setting exercise, I want you to step out of the practical and get back into that childlike imagination. It’s still there somewhere deep within the recesses of your mind. Dig it out, dust off the cobwebs and put it to use.
What would you love if I had a magic wand, and everything worked out perfectly? Include desires from every aspect of your life. Make sure to include relationship goals, spiritual goals, financial and personal. Don’t miss any area of your life. Write for a solid half-hour if need be. Let it all out without holding back. Then you can look back over your desires and start setting goals and creating plans.
Remember what Les Brown said, “Shoot for the moon. If you miss, you’ll still be out there among the stars.”
Want all of Synova’s Insider Secrets? Check out her book!
Can a local writer build a big enough audience to attract Hollywood? I did.
Can you publish independently and build a large platform that attracts the attention of a traditional publishing house? I did.
Can an indie author make six figures a year? Yes!
This go-to guide will show you how I built a business so large that a publishing house came to me and offered to buy reprint rights to three of my books. I got the chance to tell them “no” for one of the books. I made too much money.
Have you ever been able to send a rejection letter to a publishing house? It’s a lot of fun. Trust me.
Simply put, a story arc is the transformation of a character from one state to another. It’s the growth process of the hero, the empowerment of an underdog, or the digression of an antagonist. A single book has a small growth journey for the main character, but the best place to witness a story arc is in a long-running television series. To keep the viewers interested, these characters will transform over time.
Watch any soap opera and you will see a great example of a story arc. You most likely won’t see a great storyline, but the arc is definitely there. I apologize to all of you daytime television lovers out there, but on the grand scheme of things, no book series would last twenty years by constantly adding more drama between such plastic and unrealistic characters.
How many of your favorite characters started out as a bad guy, but throughout the series of events, he slowly transforms into a likable person? This is a good example of a story arc.
All writers need to keep this basic arc in mind when writing fiction stories, or even nonfiction in some cases. If you are writing your life story, then this will be your journey to awareness. Ask yourself the following questions whether you are writing your life story or you’re writing fiction.
What are the hero’s characteristics, circumstances, and values to begin with?
What happens to the hero during this story and how does it change and mold the character?
At the end of your book, how has the hero changed?
When writing a series of books the story arc becomes more prevalent. You don’t want one character to grow tremendously in book one and then start over in book two. Start the growth journey from the character’s current position.