110 Tips for Authors: 71-80

MCS BLOG 17Do you need tips or advice on improving your author career?

71: Research what you do not know. For example, if your character is a pilot, research everything a pilot does, goes through, feels, and experiences.

If you have a main setting in Tampa, but you’ve never been to Tampa, do your research. Get the correct street names, restaurants, bars, and even the local gas stations if needed. This includes housing and neighborhoods. If your character has a basement in Florida, then you didn’t do enough research.

72: Anywhere in your manuscript where you “told” the story, rather than “showed” the story needs to be fixed. For example, if you said, “Jane was angry at Tom.” Fix it to, “Jane lifted the card table and dumped the vodka tonics on his lap.” Show that Jane was angry, rather than saying it.

73: You need to understand that your book has layers of redrafts. In those layers you will struggle with a certain sentence or paragraph. If you can’t make it work, then don’t be afraid of the “delete” button.

74: There should be at least one outfit that you can put on that transforms your mind and emotions into “Author Mode.” Be sure to respect that outfit. And remember that if you dress like an author, talk like an author, and believe that you are an author, then you are an author.

75: If you can break down a reader’s gatekeeper which consists of their emotions, values, and goals in life, then you will have a loyal fan.

76: Go over your manuscript and look for “repeats.” There are three forms of repeats: Words, ideas, and phrases.

Repeated Words: Get out your thesaurus and change things up. For example, there are at least eleven different meanings of the word, “pull.” You could be saying things like, “Tom pulled a muscle,” and “Jane pulled apart the table,” and “Eddy pulled in a deep breath,” and “Joe pulled the bank job,” and “The truck was pulling the trailer,” and “She pulled a gun out.” Take the time to mix in different words. (Tug, drag, haul, lug…)

Repeated Ideas: This can also be called, “plot ideas.” Usually when the author is trying to setup a great finish or a big twist in the story, an idea is repeated to make sure the reader understands the great finish or big twist. If your descriptions are accurate, then do not worry about shoving the same idea at the reader and reminding them repeatedly what is happening.

Repeated Phrases: Telling the reader fifty times how upsetting the breakup between Jane and Tom was can be annoying. Another common mistake is the author reminds the reader that the character is shocked and confused, when it was obvious that the character was shocked and confused.

Just remember that repeats occur when the author feels deep in their heart that the reader will not understand what is going on. This means the story lacks the author’s confidence.

77: Do a Google search with your potential title. Then, do another Google search with the title and the word “Novel.” If any other author is a match, no matter how far in the past their book was released, consider changing.

78: Your stories and characters must benefit a specific target audience and you must go after that target audience with the same passion that you used to write the book.

79: Look for places in your book where you wrote that your character’s eyes were blue in chapter one, but wrote their eyes were green in chapter six. (By the way, “flashing green eyes” is being overused by authors…fyi.)

80: If you’re the author responsible for changing the way readers view books, then you will control your target market.

“I want you to write novels so entertaining that not one single person on this planet will have an excuse to reject you.” ~ Ron Knight

Do you need 100 ideas to sell books? Check out 12 Month Author Marketing Plan,

To continue this list, visit 110 Tips for Authors: 81-90.

Ron Knight

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