Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Christian Science Fiction & Fantasy Blog Tour:
Randy Ingermanson's Tools for Writers

Sorry to have been lagging on my blog tour posts, but I just slept 17 hours straight and am feeling very lethargic. Concentration's tough. I go through these high-fatigue phases, so if it passes soon, yay. If not, back to the specialist for some medication tweaking.

But, enough of me. On to our blog tour subject: Randy Ingermanson, author of many novels, including DOUBLE VISION. He's also a mentoring sort of pal to various writers, and he offers an assortment of resources for all who are seeking to improve their fiction and marketing techniques.

Have you ever used a snowflake to plot a novel? If you have, you know it can be really useful.

If you haven't, then visit Randy's page on The Snowflake Method. It's great for people who love to outline and prep all important points before beginning chapter one, and it's great for pantsers who are tired of spontaneously writing themsevles into a story wall due to lack of plot forethought.

Here's just the first step of many as you progress through the additive and ever-expanding Snowflake Method
Step 1) Take an hour and write a one-sentence summary of your story. Something like this: "A rogue physicist travels back in time to kill the apostle Paul." (This is the summary for my first novel, Transgression.) The sentence will serve you forever as a ten-second selling tool. This is the big picture, the analog of that big starting triangle in the snowflake picture.

When you later write your book proposal, this sentence should appear very early in the proposal. It's the hook that will sell your book to your editor, to your committee, to the sales force, to bookstore owners, and ultimately to readers. So make the best one you can!

Some hints on what makes a good sentence:

* Shorter is better. Try for fewer than 15 words.
* No character names, please! Better to say "a handicapped trapeze artist" than "Jane Doe".
* Tie together the big picture and the personal picture. Which character has the most to lose in this story? Now tell me what he or she wants to win.
* Read the one-line blurbs on the New York Times Bestseller list to learn how to do this. Writing a one-sentence description is an art form.

The great thing is that as you do it, you create your own marketing and proposal writing tools--your hook, your pitch, etc.

Also Randy, aka America's Mad Professor of Fiction Writing, offers a free Advanced Fiction Writing ezine. See back issues here, and then I suggest you subscribe. (I do.) Once you subscribe, Randy will send you a free 5-day course on how to publish a book and a free report on "tiger marketing," and Seth Godin's free e-book, "Unleashing the Ideavirus."

So, go over and sign up for the ezine. I'll wait.

Nice to have you back.

If you're a beginning writer and want to study under Randy's tutelage, you can purchase his Fiction 101. For those at varying levels, you can also find Fiction 201, 301, and 401 available for purchase. I know a few writers who have used Fiction 101 and found it really helpful. You may, too.

Now, if you're no longer a novice, maybe you have one or four or a dozen novels sitting around on the desks of various editors and an agent, and you want to learn what to do once they finally sell; or if you've sold your first novel and wanna pump up the marketing, then visit Randy's Mad Genius Writer site for brilliantly mad marketing methods.

Also keep an eye out for Randy. He pops up as a teacher at various Christian conferences. I hear he's a really fun guy and a good teacher.

So, I hope you checked out my tourmates this blogging edition, those who didn't sleep most of the week away like I did--yawn--and I hope you're more familiar with what Randy Ingermanson offers you as a reader and a writer.

Now, go buy DOUBLE VISION and Fiction 101, and have a ball.

Other fine bloggers who are on the CSFFBT team this round:

Nissa Annakindt
Jim Black
Grace Bridges
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
Frank Creed
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Janey DeMeo
Tessa Edwards
April Erwin
Linda Gilmore
Beth Goddard
Marcus Goodyear
Andrea Graham
Leathel Grody
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Sharon Hinck
Christopher Hopper
Jason Joyner
Tina Kulesa
Lost Genre Guild
Kevin Lucia and The Bookshelf Reviews 2.0 - The Compendium
Rachel Marks
Shannon McNear
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Caleb Newell
Eve Nielsen
John W. Otte
Robin Parrish
Cheryl Russel
Hanna Sandvig
Mirtika Schultz
James Somers
Tsaba House Authors
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Daniel I. Weaver


Becky said...

Sorry to hear you've been fatigued, Mir.

This is another great tour post. You always shine!


Becky said...

Sorry to hear you've been fatigued, Mir.

This is another great tour post. You always shine!