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The Right Voice

If you’ve worked toward developing your voice – your way of expressing your ideas that is uniquely yours – you’ll find you can alter it to suit the book you’re writing.
If you’re writing a book that concerns money, for example, you may not want to be too jokey. People don’t like to joke about finance. [...]

Your Writer’s Voice

Your speaking voice is yours alone. Your writing voice shouldn’t sound like anyone else’s either.
In a previous post, I showed how you can begin to develop a voice, by choosing a passage from an author whose voice appeals to you, copying it and trying to express your own thoughts in that voice. Then you cut [...]

Different Voices

One of the most difficult thing for a writer is finding his or her voice. That is, the manner in which the writer addresses readers, and expresses himself or herself. This can change from book to book, especially if you’re writing something related to your expertise – that is, a nonfiction work.
But how do you [...]

Discovery in Your Writing

Books that really touch people have a sense of wonder and discovery. Even business books. It’s why readers respond to them – the information offers not only a way forward, but also a possibility of discovering something new.
Try to keep a sense of wonder in your writing. This will translate to your readers, and keep [...]

What to Leave Out

You can’t put everything you know into a book. Unless you’re Leo Tolstoy or Marcel Proust or George Eliot.
But if you’re an expert in your field, and writing a book based on your work or the courses you teach, you’ll soon realize that you have too much information that can be easily contained in a [...]

Repurposing Material for a Book

A book is different from a seminar, and your seminar materials might make a good book, but not in the form that you use for your seminar.
In writing your book you may discover that what worked in other contexts – a seminar, for example – might not apply in book form.
Some people who have had [...]

What Makes a Successful Book

No one knows anything, to paraphrase the noted screenwriter William Goldman (“Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” among many others). He was talking about Hollywood, of course, and how impossible it was to predict whether a film would be a hit or a flop.
But he could just as well have been referring to publishing. Or [...]

Writing for Readers or Writing for Clickbait

More and more, newspapers determine how well a reporter does by how well his or her stories do in terms of being clicked through or shared, on whether they rise   to the top of most-viewed stories.
Some news or media organizations judge the popularity of stories, and ultimately, perhaps, their worth, by their clickbait quotient. That [...]

Routine and Creativity

It’s always good to have a routine. And always good to shake it up.
Creativity thrives on both.
And self-imposed deadlines help writers produce.
Writing to deadline didn’t come naturally to me, but a long career as a reporter for a big newspaper made me able to write to deadline, and now I welcome that challenge. It forces [...]

The Deluge of Books

You might think it’s hard to get noticed in today’s publishing marketplace.
You’d be right.
Not only are there something like 3.4 million Kindle books on Amazon, a new book is made available every five minutes – or 12 new books an hour.
Most of those are undoubtedly independent, self-published books. But still – you’ve got a lot [...]

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