Spare Change by Bette Lee Crosby - 10 Tips for Becoming a Better Writer
Reviewer’s Choice 2012 Award Winner! In a story that’s been compared to John Grisham’s The Client, eleven year-old Ethan Allen Doyle has witnessed a brutal murder and now the boy is running for his life. In the time-tested tradition of Southern Fiction, Crosby unveils the darkest side of human nature and then rewards her readers with a beautiful tale of love, loss and unexpected gifts.
Olivia Westerly is the only person Ethan Allen can trust, and he’s not too sure he can trust her. She’s got no love of children and a truckload of superstitions–one of them is the belief that eleven is the unluckiest number on earth. Olivia avoided marriage for almost forty years. But when Charlie Doyle happened along, he was simply too wonderful to resist. Now she’s a widow with an eleven-year-old boy claiming to be her grandson.
With a foul mouth, dark secrets and heavily guarded emotions, Ethan Allen Doyle is not an easy child to like. He was counting on the grandpa he’d never met for a place to hide, but now that plan is shot to blazes because the grandpa’s dead too. He’s got seven dollars and twenty-six cents, his mama’s will for staying alive, and Dog. But none of those things are gonna help if Scooter Cobb finds him.
Winner of Five Literary Awards,BookBundlz Finalist, Voted Goodreads Best Unknown Fiction, FPA President’s Book Award Gold Medal Finalist
1) First and foremost, be yourself. Discover your own voice and never try to emulate someone else. Trying to be like another author because he or she sold a million copies of their book, will not work. Every author has originality in their soul. It’s what makes us want to be authors, so dig down and discover your own originality. 2) If you follow in the footsteps of another author and start writing what you think readers will buy, your characters will sound shallow and superficial. If you remain true to yourself and work to develop your own voice it will ring loud and clear with believability. 3) Create memorable characters. Before you write about them, get to know them. Understand how your characters think and how they will react to a given situation. If you don’t know and love (or hate) your character, neither will your reader. 4) When your story takes a wrong turn and your character starts acting uncharacteristically, don’t balk at going back and chopping out that portion of your manuscript. Yes, I know you loved those when you wrote them, and removing them is painful, but in the long run you will have a better story. 5) Use beta readers to find the weak spots in your story. Do not expect them to edit your manuscript or correct typos. Beta readers usually offer thoughts and suggestions that can help make your story better, listen to them but remember they are not proofreaders. 6) If you aspire to be a professional author – use an editor. You cannot and should not edit or proofread your own work. It is virtually impossible to see your own mistakes, Even if you proofread the manuscript seventeen times, you will still only see what you think you wrote. 7) Do not just upload your book to Kindle and Nook. Use a formatter and you will save yourself a huge number of headaches. 8) Read often. Read in your genre and outside of it. The good books will teach you what works and the not-so-good books will teach you what doesn’t. 9) Take a break. When you sit there looking at your computer screen and typing words that simply don’t work, get up and go for a walk. You’ll find as soon as you walk away from the computer you can see the story so much more clearly. 10) Don’t expect to be an overnight success. It takes time and patience to develop your craft and you have to work at it. Everyday. You may hear stories about first novels being a bestseller, but what you don’t hear is that the author has drawers full of edits and rewrites. Be persistent and focus on refining your craft. If you do that, you won’t have to go looking for success, it will find you.