I write, because…

Message of the day: Don’t waste your time in thinking about the past or worrying about the future. You’ll think forever! Our thoughts are tied up with our problems and identity. Learn to let things (thoughts) go…

Today I’m working with my novel Dulcinea and The Death Code and also the book review Fields of Lies, written by talented Sabina Gabrielli Carrara. I’m going to post it on 10th May 💃☕️😉

I decided to enrol with KDP select on Amazon and in the last 3 days I sold about 50 books. Let’s hope I’ll get cool reviews (or mean and angry). I’m fully prepared for any 😭😂! #ElefantSkin

I found a mistake in my Dulcinea book cover – ouch! 😱 It is in the name of the area/city. So I have to fix it now…

I also bought yearly access to ALL the classes in ‘Masterclass’ program/app. I’m interested in the writing section only, but if I have time, I’ll try to expand my hobbies/interests.

Yesterday I listened to James Patterson’s class (non-stop), from ‘Introduction’ to ‘Marketing’, and I really liked it. Next on my list is Dan Brown, and after – Margaret Atwood.

Here’s the #takeawaykeys from James Patterson’ Masterclass:

1. Passion + habit (practice) = the real mindset of the best-selling author.

How to stay focused, motivated and productive?

PRACTICE EVERY DAY (1 hour or 2, or 10), any time of the day, find what works for you – 5 am or 11pm… Of course, nobody want to get up 5 am, but you have to FORCE yourself. Because it should be a ritual, a real routine in your life. Just like to brush your teeth, peeps.

#discipline

2. Keep a special journal with examples of the raw ideas. Simply collect them as the food recipes… It will help you generate cool plots and stay away from ‘writers block’. 

3. A story is about revealing the character: 

  • how your hero will react in a very dramatic situation? 

The characters reveals through ACTIONS. 

  • write EVERY chapter as a FIRST CHAPTER in the book (because we pay a lot of attentions to the first chapter – we know it is important to hook the reader). 
  • try to write to a single reader who is sitting across the desk from you and you don’t want them to get up until you finish…

!!! Make that ‘reader’ a woman. Why? Women buy 70% of the books. 

4. Do not make stuff up toooo much. Even in thrillers and fantasy…

Research! It builds your confidence and credibility. It gives you more ideas and inspire. But don’t be I-know-it-all author. Don’t shower* your reader with unnecessary details. 

5. Outlining is EVERYTHING (and James Patterson’s WEAPON). Because outlining is a STORY! Simple as that. 

The biggest mistake young writers make is skipping the outlining. Everything should be in your outline: all heroes and all details. Some way it is a ‘small first draft’.

James Patterson usually writers from 6 to 12 outline-drafts. 

6. How to fight ‘writers block’ in the middle of the novel?

Crash through. Get it down. Write ANYWAY! A first chapter or the last one. 

If all coming out flat – put ‘to be continued’ on that part and move to the next chapter/or hero. But DO NOT STOP!

7. Building a chapter.

Short and snappy. You should see and hear the scene. Each chapter is a scene …get a movie projector inside of your head. 

8. The secret to suspense is… 

  • never ending ‘fireworks’ 😂
  • know your genre (read in your genre)
  • do not follow the rules
  • avoid everything that had been written before you, come up with the new twists
  • intrigue your reader: set up questions for your reader at the end of each chapter

9. Ending the book.

Always think “This is not only about me!” It is about me AND the reader. And hey… he (or she) is sitting right across that table, listening to you. 

TRY TO SATISFY THAT ONE PERSON! 

!!! James Patterson never writes the ending in the outline. He writes many endings much much later and chooses the most ‘crazy/twisty’ one… but still the one that goes with the story. 

10. Getting published.

James Patterson was rejected 31 times… and now he is in the Guinness World Record as the author with the most #1 NYT best-sellers!

Everything is ahead of you. If you have a story, talent and discipline – persist and good luck ❤️🕺✌️

Interesting detail: James Patterson doesn’t write books on laptop/computer, but only in old-fashion way – pen and paper! 

Quote of the day: 

“…always be reading something that will make you look good; in case you die in the middle of it.” P.J. O’Rourke


Next post – Book Review “Fields of lies”, Sabina Gabrielli Carrara

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47 Responses

  1. masercot says:

    When you start reading about writing we know you are serious. I read a writing book by Ursula Le Guin that was pretty inspiring.

    • Victoria Ray NB says:

      It’s never ending process, but I think the most important (or everything starts from) – passion & discipline. I’m too lazy to write every day tho :/ 😑😢

      • masercot says:

        Yeah, I’ve got about three good writing days a week in me…

      • Victoria Ray NB says:

        Not bad…I’m usually working a lot during a couple of weeks & then nothing 😂 – in weeks too

  2. ortensia says:

    I signed up with KDP select too and I find it good for first timer 🤓about mistakes in books…..I found plenty in mine despite the professional proof reader and me looking at it before publishing.Only yesterday I managed to update file🙁but I’m sure there is still some crazy typo out there😱😭

    • Victoria Ray NB says:

      Longer live Amazon! 😂
      Yes, mistakes & typos are always there…but the less the better tho. Especially in the names or book covers! 😱 (as mine), but I’ll fix it now (thx god before publishing 😂😂)

  3. Wonderful post Ray. I try to see every chapter as a scene in a movie. It helps me with dialogue and description.
    Also like the thought of discipline and finding the time that is right for you. Writing must be a discipline. We must write everyday, with no excuses.

    Best of luck

    • Victoria Ray NB says:

      Agreed about project-movie-mind 🙂 but with discipline…Ray got BIIIIGGGG PROBLEMS 👁🤔😱😂 don’t know what to do :/ I’ll try to write every day one. But I love take breaks – for a week or so 😉😬😂

      • Oh, I meant writing/editing everyday on our own manuscripts. I would never blog everyday. I did it once and I realized there is a thing called life that I was missing out on.

      • Victoria Ray NB says:

        True that 👍😉🧘‍♀️

  4. Anonymous says:

    Pretty damn good stuff. Thanks for sharing.

  5. iScriblr says:

    Great learnings!👍👍

  6. Eilene Lyon says:

    Thanks a for sharing Patterson’s ideas! I will find use for these.

    • Victoria Ray NB says:

      Thank you 🙂 yes, great classes. I’ll share more with time.

  7. George F. says:

    Thanks for the executive summary! Looking forward to more of the same as you make it through the MasterClasses!

    • Victoria Ray NB says:

      Thank u 👋🕺 Yep, I’ll post takeaways from Dan Brown (next) & others too 🙂

  8. Another fabulous post Ray, it’s always inspiring to read you!

  9. Glad you are getting benefit out of the Master class. So how did you sell 50 books? JUst by signing up or did you tell people?

    • Victoria Ray NB says:

      I enrolled with KDP on Amazon and I advertised on kindle tablets (as ad), pay per click.

  10. Hyperion says:

    I do appreciate your attention to writing skill and book reviews. I’m learning what an undisciplined failure I am as an author. I will no longer allow my head elves to write out scenes and develop outlines after a wild night of Tango with dark gothic steampunk vampiresses. I need a valid process and I thank you Ray for introducing me to ways in which I can succeed.

    • Victoria Ray NB says:

      Take in all the writing advice you can, and from the mess of it all, form your writing style 🙂 – saw it today on BB Morgan blog & agreed with that 😉😉

      • Hyperion says:

        Ha ha ha! Best writing advice ever! 😆

      • Victoria Ray NB says:

        Yes 🙂 I think u have to listen but choose what works the best – for u!
        We r tooo young* lol to change 😂

      • Hyperion says:

        I do hope to grow up some day and start adulting. I don’t know tho. Adulting seems really hard to do these days. 😏

  11. HAH! I’ve already beat his record for rejections! 🙂 Maybe 46 is the charm ….

    • Victoria Ray NB says:

      Don’t you worry lol
      After 5 years of continual rejection, 1 writer finally lands a publishing deal -Agatha Christie. Her book sales are now in excess of $2 billion :)) so…

  12. librepaley says:

    Great round up of advice and well done on all the sales.

    • Victoria Ray NB says:

      Thanks, advertising is a difficult “dark” part…hopefully I’ll survive 🤔😂

      • librepaley says:

        Hope reviews help – have downloaded you book and will be leaving a review.

      • Victoria Ray NB says:

        I think reviews help us (indie authors) to move up up up 🕺😂 in Amazon chain.
        And thank you :)) 👻

  13. Tom Burton says:

    Excellent advice, Victoria! Well done for giving Amazon KDP a try. Hope your publishing continues to grow! Some fabulous tips here 🙂

    • Victoria Ray NB says:

      Thanks 🙂 yep, great tips, agreed.
      KDP works well so far…with all those KU & KOLL 😂😂
      About writing ✍️- I’m just starting 🕺🕺

  14. alexraphael says:

    You write because you are Ray 🙂

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