Utilizing my Kindle Unlimited subscription, I checked out Rayne Hall’s book :
There was an exercise designed to keep me at a low stress, “I can do this” level.
Rayne states in her book that the short story is the perfect tool for promoting your novel. Readers who love your story will look for more fiction by the same author.
Since I have been thinking of writing for magazines and doing the memoir based on my father’s adventures in life, I thought how I needed an exercise developing confidence in writing fiction. I worked through her first five chapters and learned that I need to reach my target audience. using motifs and something to describe my fiction. So I did and I wrote it down. (She is very helpful in giving you examples here).
She asked me to describe the flavor of my novel using five adjectives. Again, she gives some examples which made it easier to attempt.
She then told me to imagine my average reader…who is she? What about the “world” of my novel? (This I didn’t develop at the moment because I knew it would be present day, but I really wanted to give some deep thought to the vision in my mind. It helps me to write what I see.
Chapter 2: Artist and Editor Brain was an interesting and illuminating exercise. By setting a timer, my artist brain worked on most of this chapter and was free to get creative and think of titles. After that I took a break, as instructed. I had to think of my average reader and go back to my list. Highlight the ones she would choose to read. I really had fun doing this.
Chapter 3: Recruiting the Cast: Here I had to think of my characters. I got to use my free-wheeling artist brain again! Who was I seeing in the story? I could see a young woman who was intelligent, educated, who was fairly ordinary and she needed some intrigue in her life. (I’ll still need to develop her more, but it’s a start!)
Chapter 4: The Plotlet. Here I used my Artist brain again! Although it was somewhat daunting, I was determined to succeed in writing six stories (no more than 2 sentences) in 30 minutes. I didn’t worry about detail. I was told not to worry about if they were bad or good, but just be free and write. Rayne also gave some of her own examples here. That helped me to exercise my wings! I took the titles and picked the ones I wanted to expand. She advised to keep it within a short time period such as an hour or a day. Just write! When 30 minutes was over, I took an extended break, then returned to my six stories. I had to once again remember my reader and then pick three of the six she would find interesting.
Chapter 5: Freewriting – Here, I would pick the story I felt the most inspiration to work on and begin the freeflow of just writing. Write, don’t be afraid! Twenty minutes was the assigned time. I took a break afterwards. I had to look back at Chapter 1, then at my freewriting. Here’s where the analysis was going to start so I’d have to get into my “Editor brain”. I had to let everything sit for a while before I went any further.
This is where I had a little fun using a bit of advice from Bryn Donovan and I just went to the Amazon page and started looking for the genre I was writing in. (Speculative Fiction with a paranormal element of a ghost) Were there other stories like mine out there? During this time I found the author, Rachel Hauck, whose story, The Wedding Dress, was similar to my idea. I went to her book for the sample and began to read. It was wonderful! I was getting drawn in right away.
The achievement I felt with this exercise was that I freed myself up to write without being afraid. By completing the exercises I was learning about the writing process while keeping my reader in mind. I had found a book that was similar to my idea so I thought that I should celebrate that I was on the right track. I had found a new author to read (which would help me develop my skills for new stories). I did purchase the book by Rachel Hauck. I also follow her on Amazon now. I have read about her background and I have seen the types of books she likes to write. I am thoroughly enjoying her book! I am also happy and encouraged that I did the freewrite exercise. I hope you might try this too! I have been reluctant to write fiction, because my strengths are in essays, editorials, and non-fiction. I am a firm believer in continuous learning! Try Rayne’s exercise. I also follow these authors on Twitter as well. Remember it’s important to build your platform too!
I’d like to say a special thank you to Rayne Hall and Rachel Hauck for the encouragement and inspiration!
Have fun with freewriting!