How a Writer Can Benefit from Mindset Coaching

mindset coaching for writers

 

Many people make the mistake of believing that being a writer is just sitting down at a keyboard and starting to type. Still, the reality is much more complicated than this. The truth is that all people who dedicate themselves to writing at some point are faced with the blank page; they become blocked, they can lose their spirits, feel insecure about their own writing voice or about their goal.

If you really want to write your own work but are having trouble getting good ideas or starting to translate the ones you already have. Among the reasons why this could be happening are:

  • Insecurities
  • Fears
  • Extreme self-demands
  • Perfectionism
  • Fatigue
  • Procrastination
  • Lack of motivation
  • Mental exhaustion

It is at this moment when Mindset Coaching will be of great use to you. In general, this type of coaching helps you change the configuration of your Mindset so that you can develop your artistic gifts without problems.

What is Mindset Coaching?

In recent years it has become common to talk about coaching as a method to help people get to where they want to be, fulfill their dreams or their goals. Part of the success that has made this system very popular comes from the strategies used:

  • Coaching helps people be realistic and clear about everything that they actually want
  • Coaches guide people to establish where they are in their life and all the strategies they have tried thus far.
  • Subsequently, the coaches propose and then discuss different options and possible courses of action
  • Finally, a plan is drawn up and agreed to in order to turn this plan into reality.

Mindset coaching is a little different in this case since it not only performs these four stages. But the coach also works with his clients to discover what are those personal beliefs, habits, behaviors, and patterns of thought acquired, which block them or prevent them from creating new literary works.

Once the coach has defined these limitations, they can use this knowledge to apply a series of techniques to reprogram the minds of the writers, allowing them to eliminate the causes of these blocks, then it is possible to replace them with real beliefs that ultimately are positive for the clients.

Because Mindset Coaching works directly with clients’ beliefs, to permanently positively modify them, the writers can obtain much faster and more lasting results. This allows a successful transformation that helps writers to complete their works without problems.

Unlike traditional therapy, Mindset Coaches often work with the specific causes of writer’s block, which allows the therapeutic techniques they apply to have results much faster than therapy. With the use of the tools of coaching, those who use these techniques can understand the way of thinking of the writers quickly, guiding them to be able to change their perception and their mentality, to later overcome their creative blocks.

When does a writer need Mindset Coaching?

One of the main reasons a writer might decide to start this kind of coaching process is when they realize that they need help in order to achieve or meet their writing goals.

Usually, before reaching this point, the writer may be experiencing incredible frustration with his work, thinking that he will not get anywhere with what he is doing. The writer may even feel that something is stopping him, but he cannot identify clearly what it is about.

Likewise, it is also possible that he feels very overwhelmed by having too many options up the road. The writer might think that it is simply not possible to choose one of them, which leads them to postpone all their responsibilities or procrastinate. This becomes a never-ending cycle that prevents them from achieving their goals or taking the necessary steps to meet them.

A common point that all those writers who need this kind of coaching have is that what they consciously want and those unconscious ways of thinking, patterns, conducts, habits, and even behaviors are completely misaligned. This is what can cause the famous writer’s block.

That is, on the one hand, they are stating that they want to be able to continue or finish their work, but their unconscious mind is sabotaging all those efforts, which prevents this from being possible. There are at least three variants that negatively affect writers:

Your acquired and innate behavior patterns

The center of personal beliefs that prevent you from seeing your goals in objective ways

Properly managing your own emotions

These variants, along with many others, can ultimately limit writers’ creativity and focus. When this situation turns out to be long-lasting over time, and personal tools do not work, it is necessary to use Mindset Coaching’s professional services to be able to unblock these unconscious patterns and, later, to be able to change or eliminate them completely.

Reach your full potential in writing with Mindset Coaching

The situation is this: You have not been able to continue writing. Each time you experience more frequent or annoying creative blocks, and you have even been faced with a blank page for days in a row. This is a severe problem for any writer and requires an immediate solution.

Once you recognize that you have been experiencing a great deal of difficulty completing your works, it is time to take the most critical step, which is to enlist the help of a professional Mindset Coaching service.

As you have seen, with this type of coaching, you can work on changing the configuration of your mental processes to recover the inspiration that you have lost. The truth is that your mentality or your way of acting in the face of life’s challenges will make all the difference between whether you can achieve professional success or not.

Now, no matter how good or professional the advice, tools, or aids offered by the coach you have chosen are, in the end, the most important work must be done by yourself. It would be best if you were open to changing the way you see life. You should also be as realistic as possible concerning your goals, objectives, and the path to follow to achieve them.

It is possible that, in the Mindset Coaching process, you feel defensive at times, and this is normal. After all, your belief system has accompanied you since your childhood, probably a large part of it you have acquired from your parents. But this does not mean that it is the right thing to do or that it works for you completely.

In any case, it is never impossible to change. By starting with a single step, you can already take the next. Remember, your brain behaves more like a sponge than a brick wall, so with just a little effort and the necessary help, you can reach your full potential in no time.

What are the benefits of Mindset Coaching for writers?

Mindset Coaching can be of great benefit to writers. In part, it is because the techniques used by this system to change the configuration and patterns of thought are quite specific. Still, they are also useful due to the brain’s plasticity since this organ is really flexible, which allows to acquire new behaviors and thought patterns while eliminating others that may be more destructive.

Among the main benefits that writers who use the services of this type of coaching will experience in order to continue writing, the following stand out:

Clearer personal vision

One of the main strategies that mindset coaches use is to define all the objectives clearly. Once you manage to define what you want to achieve in the most specific way possible, you will be able to draw the right path to follow in order to achieve your goals. For example, if your goal is to “write a book,” this would be very generic.

On the other hand, if you ask yourself, “What kind of book do I want to write?” or “To which literary genre do I want my work to belong?” Perhaps you could have a clearer idea of ​​what you want and, in this way, know the actions you must take to achieve it.

Belief Systems

Belief systems help people filter all the information and stimuli they receive from the outside world. These beliefs allow you to adapt your reality to your own comfort zone. For example, suppose you think that “it is impossible to become a recognized author” or something similar. In that case, your brain will take it for granted, and it will demotivate you in seconds.

On the other hand, if these beliefs are more optimistic, your brain will give you the extra dose of motivation you need. The coach will help you remove a little of that toxic “NO” from your mind.

Train your brain

This benefit is intrinsically tied to your belief system. You see, the brain loves to feel that it is right, so if your brain believes that you will not be able to achieve something, it will do everything possible to prevent it from happening.

Instead, by training your brain with new actions and behavior patterns, you will break your belief system and confuse your brain. It will begin to doubt its previous patterns and become excited by the evidence of your change, stimulating it to become your side.

Accept all fears

In order to be productive, you do not need to deny your fears and bury them in the back of your mind. Still, you must accept all your fears as part of reality, for example, the fear of failure or that others will judge you.

Once the coach guides you to identify these fears and accept them as part of you, you will be able to face them in a more specific way since you will have the tools to know that they are only about dangers that you perceive, but not absolute realities.

Learn to dialogue with yourself

All people have conversations with themselves; this is normal. Still, when the voices inside your head are only dedicated to criticizing you, judging you, or even punishing you, you must learn to stop them.

The coach will teach you how to act when these intrusive thoughts appear within you so that you can stop them instantly without allowing them to affect you. These voices are not objective, nor do they reflect present or future reality.

Eliminate negative influences from the environment

The coach will help you identify if there are negative people around you or those with toxic behaviors that affect your personal safety. This is important since many of the comments that these types of people can make could be detrimental to your creative process.

You will learn to carry out this process in two possible ways, either by tolerating them and understanding that their comments reflect their own personal deficiencies and not yours, or simply remove them from your life so that you can be at peace with yourself and be inspired by your work.

Learn to ask for help

An important part that will determine Mindset Coaching’s success is learning to let go of pride and ask for help when necessary. There is nothing wrong with needing others at some point in life, but when the ego gets in the way, it can wreak havoc.

Learning to ask for help is essential to be able to achieve the goals or objectives that you have previously set for yourself, either from a mentor or a professional who works in your own area. Seeking help from other people will never make you less professional or weak, and this is a mindset that you must change.

Value yourself

Much of the problems that writers face originate when they compare themselves with other authors who have already achieved success or are admired. If you do, you will likely end up feeling that you will never be as good as that other person.

The Mindset Coaching professional will help you value yourself more so that you can fulfill the goals that you have set for yourself in your own way, improve the things that already work for you in your way of being, and change those that do not so that so you can achieve the best version of yourself.

Be thankful

A typical attitude when you lose motivation or inspiration is to turn negative and complain about any inconvenience. This can cause you to build up a great deal of resentment within yourself, which will undoubtedly decrease your motivation and inspiration.

A professional coach will help you learn to practice the art of gratitude. Suppose you can be grateful for everything that happens in your life. In that case, it will dramatically improve your mood, which will help you write more fluently and increase your levels of inspiration.

As you can see, there are a lot of benefits for writers who decide to use Mindset Coaching services on a professional level.

30 Top Writing Contests for 2021

2021 Top Writing Contests

 

Writing Competitions not only allow writers to win prizes, but they also have several other benefits for writers. In fact, I would go as far as to say that writing contests are invaluable to stoke your writing career.

They Provide an Author with a deadline.

They provide writers with a deadline to know they have to meet or miss out on the competition and potential prizes. This can serve to increase productivity. With normal writing, an author is accountable to nobody, and it is all too easy to slow down and become lethargic.

Writing Contests Give You feedback.

Most writing contests do not provide detailed feedback to each author, but some may (for a small fee) provide some basic feedback. There are even a couple that may provide a little feedback for free. If you win or even get a runner-up position, then that is a pretty good sign that your book may well be a winner on the market.

It Helps to Get Your Name Known

The judges and organizers of these competitions are most likely going to be professionals in the publishing industry. You have no idea who may take a look at your manuscript during the competition. If you are on the shortlist to win then this will certainly draw attention to your work. Even if it does not immediately help, it may work later when you write a subsequent book.

Motivation

Writing Contests provide motivation. When you enter a book, story, or poem, you know that someone somewhere is reading your work, which can be a lifesaver when you are struggling to carry on. Whether you win or not, the writing contest is one more milestone in your writing career.

2021 ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize

The Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize is an annual competition run by the Australian Book Review. Entries 2000 – 3000 words in English

  • The entry fee AU$15 to AU$25.
  • First Prize – AU$6,000
  • Second Prize – AU$4,000
  • Third Prize – AU$2,500
  • Entry Deadline – 2021-05-03

2021 Bristol Short Story Prize

Open to all authors over 16 who may be published or unpublished.

  • The entry fee is £9.
  • The first prize is £1,000
  • The second prize is £500
  • The third prize is £250
  • The entry deadline expires: 2021-05-05

2021 Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine

A prize writing contest for a medical-related poem which must be unpublished. Three categories.

  • Open Category £7 per entry
  • Health professional category £7 per entry;
  • The young Poets category is free entry.
  • Open Category Prizes are £1,000 – £500 – £250
  • Health professional Category Prizes are £1,000 – £500 – £250
  • Young poets Category £500
  • The Entry Deadline is 2021-02-14

2021 Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest

Submit one humor poem that must be written in English and under 250 lines.

  • The entry fee is zero – free to enter.
  • The first prize is $2,000
  • The Second Prize is $500
  • Ten runners up win $100 each.
  • The entry deadline expires on 2021-04-01

29th annual Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest

Two writing contests. Essay competition and a short story competition. Both up to 6,000 words, open to anyone.

  • The entry fee is $20
  • Both the winning story and the winning essay each receive $3,000
  • Ten runners up each receive $200
  • The entry deadline is 2021-04-30

Aesthetica Creative Writing Award 2021

An International Writing Contest with no age limit. Two categories: Poetry and Short Fiction

  • The poetry Entry fee is £12
  • The Fiction entry fee is £18
  • Both Poetry and Fiction winners each receive £2,600
  • The entry deadline is 2021-08-31

Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize for Poetry 2021

An award for a book of poetry in English. language

  • The fee for entry is $25
  • The winning poem gets published by the UP Press as part of the Pitt Poetry.
  • The winning author will receive $5,000
  • Entry Deadline: 2021-04-30

AWP Award Series 2021

Original works for adult readers in English

  • Entry fee for members $29, The Entry fee for non-members $30
  • Donal Hall Poetry – $5,500 prize
  • Grace Paley Short Story – $5,500 prize
  • AWP Nob Fiction Prize – $2,500
  • AWP Novel – $2,500 prize
  • The entry deadline is 2021-02-28

Bath Short Story Award 2021

these short stories, on any topic, must be original and written in English.

  • The entry fee is £9
  • First Prize – £1,200
  • Second Prize – £300
  • Third Prize – £100
  • Entry Deadline – 2021-04-19

F(r)iction’s Spring 2021 Writing Contests

The competition is open to writers over the age of 13: four categories – short story, flash fiction, Poetry, Creative Non-Fiction.

The entry fee is between $10 and $15

  • The prize for Short Story: $1,000
  • The prize for Flash Fiction: $300
  • The prize for Poetry: $300
  • Prize for Creative Nonfiction: $1,000
  • Entry Deadline – 2021-04-29

First Pages Prize 2021

Writers over the age of 18 and having no agent. First five-page excerpt of a larger work of fiction.

  • The entry fee is $20
  • The winner gets $2,000 and consultation with an agent
  • 2nd Prize is $1,250
  • 3rd Prize is $750
  • 4th prize is $500
  • The Entry Deadline is 2021-02-21

Fish Flash Fiction Prize

Fish Publishing Flash Fiction Award is open to anyone who writes in English. The maximum word count is 300.

  • The Entry Fee is €14 (€8 for further entries).
  • The First Prize is €1,000.
  • Top 10 stories to be published in the 2021 anthology
  • The entry deadline is 2021-02-28

Imagine 2200: Climate fiction for future ancestors.

A new climate fiction related short-story competition envisages the next 180 years of climate progress, between 3,000 to 5,000 words.

  • Free to Enter
  • First Prize – $3,000
  • Second Prize – $2,000
  • Third Prize – $1,000
  • The entry deadline is 2021-04-12

Nature and Place Poetry Competition 2021

A writing contest open to all entrants over the age of 18. Poems dealing with any aspect of place or nature.

  • Your first entry costs £7
  • further entries cost £4
  • 1st Prize – £1,000
  • 2nd Prize – £500
  • 3rd Prize – £250
  • The final deadline for entries: 2021-03-01

Ploughshares Emerging Writer’s Contest 2021

A contest for all fiction, non-fiction, or poetry writers who have yet to publish a book (includes self-publishing).

  • The entry fee is $24 (this will include a 12-month subscription to Ploughshares.
  • The winning story, essay, or poem will be published in Ploughshare.
  • Each winning author will receive $2,000
  • Entry Deadline: 2021-05-15

Puchi Award 2021

Books from any genre that have never been published. They must be finished works.

  • Entry to the competition is free.
  • The winning entry will receive €8,000 and get published by Fulgencio Pimentel.
  • The entry deadline is 2021-02-18

Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize 2021

Anyone who has yet to publish a book-length work of fiction, life-writing, or poetry is welcome to enter. This does not include self-published works. There are three categories, all judged separately. These categories are Fiction, Poetry, and Life writing.

  • The Single Entry Fee is £10 (you can enter twice for £16)
  • Winners of each of the three categories will receive £1,000.
  • The Entry deadline is 2021-05-31

Scottish Arts Club Short Story Award

Another Writing Contest for writers over 16. Short stories may be on any subject

  • The entry fee for the competition is £10
  • The first prize is: £1,000
  • The second prize is: £500
  • The third prize is £250
  • the entry deadline is 2021-02-28

Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize 2021

Entries of 750 words or less on any theme by entrants of all ages. International entries welcome

  • The entry fee is $25 for each story.
  • The winning story wins a 10-week free course with Gotham Writers.
  • The winning story wins $1,000
  • Entry Deadline: 2021-03-05

The 2021 HG Wells Short Story Competition

The 2021 theme is Mask. The competition is for those over 21 years of age, with a second competition for those under 21.

  • The Over 21 competition entry fee for s $10 ($5 for students with ID) for each story
  • The Under 21 competition is free to enter.
  • The winning over 21 story wins $500
  • The winning under 21 story wins $1,000
  • Entry Deadline: 2021-07-12

The 2021 International Book & Pamphlet Competition

Entrants should provide 20 pages of poetry written for adults in the English language.

  • The entry fee for each entry to this writing competition is £28
  • First stage winners get to share the total £2,000 cash prize. They can choose to enter the second stage by providing a further 30 pages of poetry.
  • Second stage winner gets a book published/
  • First stage winners also get a pamphlet published.
  • The entry deadline is 2021-03-01

The 2021 Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction

This short story writing contest is open to both American and International writers.

  • The entry fee is $17 per story.
  • No restrictions on themes
  • Short stories must be at least ten pages long but less than fifty pages.
  • Final Entry Deadline – 2021-03-14

The 2021 Yeovil Literary Prize

Open to all those over the age of 16. Competition in four categories.

  • The entry fees range from £5 to £14,50.
  • Prize Novel – £1,250
  • Prize Short Story – £600
  • Prize Poetry – £600
  • Prize No restrictions – £250
  • The entry deadline is 2021-04-30

The Alpine Fellowship Writing Prize 2021

open to all those who are aged over 18

  • Free Entry to the competition
  • 1st Prize -£10,000
  • 2ns Prize – £3,000
  • 3rd Prize – £2,000
  • Entry deadline – 2021-04-01

The Bath Novel Award 2021

A global Writing Contest for unpublished and self-published novels.

  • The entry fee is £28 per novel.
  • The winner receives £3,000
  • The entry deadline is 2021-05-31

The Bridport Prize 2021

another writing contest for global entrants. They must be over 16 years of age.

  • Entry fees range from £9 to £20.
  • There are four categories.
  • Prize money totals over £19,000.
  • The entry deadline is 2021-05-31

The Caterpillar Poetry Prize 2021

This writing contest is for a single poem that is written for children and unpublished.

  • The entry fee for this writing contest is €14 per poem.
  • Poems aimed at children aged 7 to 11.
  • One single prize of €1,000
  • The entry deadline is 2021-03-31

The Moth International Short Story Prize 2021

A writing competition open to anyone over the age of 18. A short stir under 5,000 words

  • The Fee for Entry is €15 for each story.
  • First Prize – €3,000
  • Second Prize – Week-long writing retreat in France and €250 for travel
  • Third Prize – €1,000
  • The Entry deadline is 2012-06-30

The Plough Prize 2021

The Plough Poetry Prize is an open competition (international) for a poem on any subject with a maximum of 40 lines.

  • The Fee for Entry is £5 for each poem.
  • First Prize – £1,000
  • Second Prize – £500
  • Third Prize – £250
  • The Entry deadline is 2012-03-31

The Writing Quarter Competition

Enter Sci-Fi and Fantasy stories aimed at adults with a minimum length of 1700 words.

Prizes are awarded every quarter – Prizes of $1000, $750, $500

One of the quarterly winners will win overall and get a prize of $5,000 more.

Check the website for the next quarterly deadline

Final Thoughts

These thirty competitions are just the most well-known writing contests for English language writers. You may well find that local Arts-Festivals have writing competitions with fewer entrants and lower prizes, however the topics you write about could be completely random like Colorado Design a Kitchen Remodel, where you are asked to write about Kitchen Remodeling in Colorado.. Try asking at your local library. Even the smallest, most local competition is worth entering, as they will help drive forward your writing career and encourage you to keep writing.

Writing competitions for children can also benefit your kids. Children find competitions to be a challenge, and entering a competition may well inspire them to write when otherwise they would not enjoy doing so. They can spur your children on and maybe awaken a love of writing that had not been visible before.

Writing competitions are also a great way of finding new authors to read, ones who had not come to your attention before. Many successful authors have been found through competitions in the past. Your new favorite author may be the next one that is discovered in a writing contest.

The Top Movies About Writers

movies about famous writers

 

In this selection of movies, we learn some new facts about famous writers. We also get to imagine some things about their lives that may not be strictly true but help flesh out their characters. Most importantly, we find out that these famous writers faced the same dilemmas we all do in their everyday lives.

Oscar Wilde

The 1997 movie “Wilde,” directed by Brian Gilbert and starring Stephen Fry in the title role, was nominated for four Golden Globe Awards.

The Plot

The movie begins with Wilde’s visit in 1882 to Leadville in Colorado, as part of his USA lecture tour. Despite his flamboyance and manner, he surprisingly goes down well with his audience of local silver miners. On returning to London, Wilde marries Irish author Constance Lloyd. Over two years, they had two sons, after which they ceased to be sexually active after Robbie Ross (played by Michael Sheen) seduces Wilde and helps him accept his homosexuality.

Opening night of Wilde’s play, “Lady Windermere’s Fan,” Wilde meets poet Lord Alfred Douglas, a foppish individual, who is very handsome (played by Jude Law). The two had briefly met one year before. Wilde and Douglas become involved in an affair. They have an odd relationship where Douglas frequently employs rent boys, while Wilde plays the role of voyeur.

Douglas’ father (The Marquis of Queensbury) is not favorable towards Wilde and his son’s relationship. He makes this clear shortly before Wilde opened “The Importance of Being Ernest” when he publically demeans Wilde. Wilde retaliates by suing the Marquis of Queensbury for criminal libel. This results in Wilde’s homosexuality being exposed and Wilde prosecuted for Gross Indecency. Wilde is sentenced to two years hard labor. During his time in prison, Constance Lloyd, his wife, visits him and tells him that she would not divorce him.

However, she does say that she is taking his sons to Germany and that as long as he has nothing to do with Lord Alfred Douglas, Wilde is welcome to visit whenever he wished. Eventually, Wilde is released from prison and immediately heads off to Europe in exile. Many people advise Wilde to keep clear of Douglas. However, Wilde ignores this and eventually meets up with Douglas.

The Key Cast Members

  • Oscar Wilde – Steven Fry
  • Lord Alfred Douglas – Jude Law
  • Lady Wilde – Vanessa Redgrave
  • Constance Lloyd Wilde – Jennifer Ehle
  • Marchioness of Queensbury – Gemma Jones
  • Lady mount Temple – Judy Parfit

Iris Murdoch

The 2001 Movie “Iris was directed by Richard Eyre and starred Kate Winslet and Judy Dench in the title role. The Movie won an Oscar.

The Plot

The movie is about the life of the famous British writer and philosopher Iris Murdoch. The young Iris Murdoch’s role is played by Kate Winslet and the older Iris Murdoch, by Dame Judi Dench. The story is about the love between Iris Murdoch and John Bayley (played by Hugh Bonneville).

Murdoch, played by Winslett, is young academic teaching philosophy at Oxford when she meets and falls in love with another professor John Bailey. There is a vast difference between the two characters, and Murdoch’s spirit and confident bearing is a complete contrast with the awkward Bailey.

The story is related through the older Bailey’s eyes (played by Jim Broadbent) and comprises a series of snippets from their life together. Murdoch is portrayed as a brilliant and vigorous young woman. The contrast between this and the snippets from Murdoch’s later life after Alzheimer’s disease has wrecked her is most poignant. We witness Murdoch slowly being lost to the disease until just a shell remains of what once was Iris Murdoch. It reaches the inevitable conclusion where Murdoch is totally reliant on John Bayley, who, as a devoted husband, carries out every task for the woman he loves. The movie concludes with her death.

The movie is based on two books written by John Bailey, Iris, and Iris & the Friends.

The Key Cast Members

  • Young Iris Murdoch – Kate Winslet
  • Iris Murdoch – Judi Dench
  • Young John Bailey – Hugh Bonneville
  • John Bailey – Jim Broadbent
  • Principal – Eleanor Bron
  • Hostess – Angela Morant

John Keats

The 2009 Movie “Bright Star” was directed by Jane Campion and starred Abbie Cornish as Fanny Brawne and Ben Wishaw as John Keats.

The Plot

The story relates the three-year romance between the 19th-century poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne. The story takes place in the final part of Keats’ life. It is 1818, and on the outskirts of London in Hampstead Village, the story begins. In one half of a house live Charles Brown, a poet, The other half of the house resides the Dilkes family. The Dilkes family is the link between The Brawne family and Mr. Brown. Mr. Brown and Fanny (the eldest daughter of the Brawne’s) do not like each other. Fanny thinks Brown to be an arrogant man who is incredibly rude. Brown thinks Fanny is a flighty girl who knows nothing except how to sew. She is actually quite skilled at sewing and makes all the fashionable clothes she wears.

Keats comes to live with his old friend brown, and when he meets Fanny, they both have a mutual attraction. The relationship takes a while to become a reality as Brown disliked Fanny and does his best to make sure they do not get attached. Keats, at the time, was a struggling poet and very insecure, making the relationship harder. Brown is not the only obstacle to the relationship. Brawne totally misunderstands the relationship between Keats and poetry, but she is impressed that Keats had been using his sick brother, and to get closer to him, asks him to teach her about poetry. The poetry brings them closer and fuels the romance. Mrs. Brawne rejects Keats as a potential suitor for her daughter because of his lack of prospects, then Keats develops the same illness that had killed his brother. There is no happy ending to this story as the lovers see their dream of marriage fade and the reality of separation forever.

The Key Cast Members

  • Fanny Brawne – Abbie Cornish
  • John Keats – Ben Whishaw
  • Mr. Brown – Phil Schneider
  • Mrs. Brawne – Kerry Fox
  • Toots – Edie Martin
  • Samuel – Thomas Brodie-Sangster

William Shakespeare

The 2018 Movie “All Is True was directed by Kenneth Branagh, who also played the lead role.

The Plot

This movie explores the latter part of the life of William Shakespeare. It begins in 1613 as Shakespeare decides to return home to Stratford -Upon-Avon and face his family, who have been somewhat neglected. This change in direction is a consequence of the “Globe Theater” being razed by fire. Shakespeare is truly devastated at the Globe’s loss, and he now has to try and mend fences with his wife and daughters, still haunted by the death of his only son.

On reaching home, his wife, played by Judi Dench, suggests that he should sleep in the best bed in the guest room. He has returned so infrequently over the years that she actually sees him as a guest. The movie analyzes these relationships and supposedly allows a peek into the life of Shakespeare. The odd thing is that despite the movie being called “All Is True,” there is very little in the movie that is true.

The Key Cast Members

  • William Shakespeare – Kenneth Branagh
  • Anne Shakespeare – Judi Dench
  • Earl of Southampton – Ian McKellen

Jane Austen

The 2007 Film “Becoming Jane” was directed by Julian Jarrold.

The Plot

This is Jane Austin’s story that covers events in her life before she gained fame. In particular, her romance with a young Irishman.  The lead role was played by Anne Hathaway who in an interview had taken time off to do an Oregon bathroom remodel small with her husband, but since the role was too good to pass home she put her home renovation project to the side.

The story commenced in 1795 with Jane Austin, an opinionated twenty-year-old emerging writer. She has dreams of stepping out from the conventions of the time and follow her dreams, which do not fit in with the prejudices and norms of the time in which she lived. Her parents are searching for a wealthy and successful husband to assure her future position in society and are considering Mr. Wisley as a suitable match. However, Jane is making her own connections, and when she meets Tom Lefroy, who is everything that her parents are not looking for, there are sparks.

The couple knows that if they pursue their wish to be married, they will create a furor that risks everything they have. They will lose friends, family, and fortune. It is a true period piece that attempts to bring to life the rebel that was Jane Austin.

The Key Cast Members

  • Jane Austin – Anne Hathaway
  • Tom Lefroy – James McAvoy
  • Mrs. Austin – Julie Walters
  • Reverend Austin – James Cromwell
  • Lady Gresham – Maggie Smith

Charles Dickens

The 2017 Movie, “The Man Who Invented Christmas,” was directed by Bharat Nalluri and followed the creation of the famous work “A Christmas Carol.”

The Plot

When we think of Christmas, the story “Christmas Carol” comes to mind, and in this movie, we follow a story about how it may have been written by Charles Dickens. It was 1843, and the now famous British novelist was at a pretty low point in his writing career. It happens, and he had three failures, one after the other, and funds were getting low.

To resolve his dire situation, he decided to write a Christmas Story and then self publish it. He had a limited time to get this done(just two months). Just as he begins what would be a difficult task in the best of times, his estranged parents decide to come and stay with him. Not an enjoyable situation, even if he had nothing else to worry about.

His father’s financial irresponsibility that had ruined his childhood was still fresh in his mind, which was not particularly helpful when already under such pressure. This results in a massive case of writer’s block. Whatever he tries, he cannot shift it, and things were not looking good. He tries to work out his issues in the dialogues with the characters he has written, particularly in the conversations with Ebenezer Scrooge.

Through this unconventional method, he manages to finish the story, “A Christmas Carol.” Of course, we all know how successful it all turned out to be.

The Key Cast Members

  • Charles Dickins – Dan stevens
  • Presenter – Mark Scrier
  • Stage Manager – Patrick Joseph Byrnes
  • Mrs. Fisk – Miriam Margolys
  • Kate Dickens – Morfydd Clark

Wordsworth & Coleridge

This Movie, “Pandaemonium,” from 2000, tells the relationship between the poets Samuel Coleridge and William Wordsworth. Directed by Julien Temple

The Plot

The movie analyses the relationship between two of our most famous poets Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth. the two poets lived during the same era and same tumultuous political events. It is a drama that has friendship and rivalry at its core with a political overlay set in a period that included the french revolution and government repression.

The film seems overtly pro Coleridge in this story, and the author of Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and Kubla Khan is excused his drug use. To Wordsworth, there are hints of an incestuous relationship with his sister.

It is a complex scenario and an attempt to explore these characters in depth.

The Key Cast Members

  • Samuel Coleridge – Linus Roache
  • William Wordsworth – John Hannah
  • Sara Coleridge – Samantha Morton
  • Dorothy Wordsworth – Emily Woof
  • Mary Wordsworth – Emma Fielding

Final Thoughts

Most of the writers featured in this selection of movies are from past ages where public opinion was not so liberal as today. These individuals were often seen as people living outside of proper society, and some, most notably Oscar Wilde, suffered dearly for it. Yet all of them were aware of public pressure to conform, to become more connected with society. Perhaps it was the fact that these characters lived on the edge of society that their creativity was released. Often very little is actually known about the private lives of writers, and the huge gaps have to be filled with material created from what others think may have happened, so we can not watch the movies as a firm biography. More of a suggestion of what the see complex relationships may have been.

How to Write Converting Copy for a Bankruptcy Consultant

bankruptcy copywriting

Overview

The relationship between creditors and debtors can be complex, and it faces a significant number of challenges. In many cases, creditors default due to circumstances. At the same time, the modern American economy is facing a plethora of inherent and structural challenges in their process of doing business. In such cases, individual owners do seek viable and sustainable ways of moving out of such a predicament.

This is where filing for bankruptcy comes in. Filing for bankruptcy refers to a legal process where one states he is unable to pay debts, and seeks relevant intervention. It is aimed at seeking a neutral ground for both the creditor and the debtor and to reconcile their differences. On one hand, a debtor is given time to re-organize himself and think things over. On the other hand, there are negotiations on paying the creditors.

A bankruptcy consultant offers a wide range of products and services. Therefore, as a bankruptcy consultant, you can peruse through the internet and see the scope of your job and how you can expand. The point is that the market offers many opportunities for bankruptcy as they seek appropriate intervention on their financial situation, more so restructuring debt.

Many of the bankruptcy consultants work in banks as well as other financial institutions. They can compile and manage a banking portfolio from inception right to its discharge. The government also employs bankruptcy professionals who are going to study the bankruptcy dynamics in the country. It should be noted that the government plays a critical role in giving individuals and business owners a conducive environment to do business.

Some of the duties and responsibilities of a bankruptcy lawyer include the following:

-Researching clients’ accounts

-Maintaining correspondence with clients

-Reviewing a bankruptcy plan

-Invoicing clients

-Making calls

-Liaising with other professionals on issues facing bankruptcy

There are some bankruptcy consultants who offer services in the field of “relief”. Other clients are going to think about foreclosure. In short, there is no shortage of what you can do as a bankruptcy consultant.

As a responsible bankruptcy consultant, do not forget about the ethics of your career. For example, if you can offer responsible advice to a business owner, then do so. Such dedicated advice could save one from running out of business. What is important, by the end of the day, is to make an impact in your line of work as you seek to earn a living. As a matter of fact, you can make a balance between running a profitable business and intervening for others.

The Role of Marketing in a Bankruptcy Consultancy

Like in any other profession, the role of marketing in filing for bankruptcy cannot be underestimated. Due to the stiff competition in the market, one must be sure to stand out among the peers. One of the ways of doing this is to ensure that you roll out an effective marketing strategy.

Through marketing, you are going to retain your customers who have been consulting you. At the same time, you have to think about getting new comers. Do bear in mind that you should prepare yourself for the future business market as it is going to be more competitive. The best way of preparing for the future is through laying concrete measures today.

How to Write Converting Copy for a Bankruptcy Consultant

The bankruptcy consultant should prepare a copy that is going to convert. To start with, you should be empathetic to the online visitors and understand their situation. Do not aim at making profit first, rather, build a connection and a relationship with you customers.

You need to let your online visitors know that it is their right to file for bankruptcy. As a matter of fact, filing for bankruptcy comes with its advantages. Perhaps, the most important advantage for filing for bankruptcy is that you obtain an automatic stay when it comes to creditors. There is nothing as frustrating as having to be bombarded with calls every day. When one files for bankruptcy, one gets time to think, clear the mind up, and give the necessary responses.

In your copy, you need to inform your readers that they may qualify for dischargeable debt upon qualifying for bankruptcy. Dischargeable debt is debt which can be discharged or cancelled, when one files for bankruptcy. Such debts include personal loans, medical bills, and utility bills.

Now, having informed your client that he or she has a right to filing for bankruptcy, and there are advantages to filing for one, the next thing is to explore with you online readers if filing for bankruptcy is the best option. Remember, you are not making a decision for the online readers, but rather, you are looking at the best decision that both of you can make.

Your copy could explain to the bankruptcy applicant that he or she stands to have the credit cards cancelled. Again, and unfortunately, one could lose property, under unexempt property. When one is filing for bankruptcy, one has to think about the cost of filling for the same. In some business circles, filing for bankruptcy could show that one is not an apt professional. This could in turn lead to difficulty in attracting funding.

As a bankruptcy consultant, you are going to have a wide range of clients. However, rather than thinking about reaching the greatest number of clients, think about how you can have a specialty or a niche. Individual clients would rather work with clients who have some form of specialization or the other. This gives them greater confidence when they are interacting in the line of work.

Business owners write a copy in order to sell, and this is where they go wrong. A copy should not be written from the point of view of the entrepreneur, but rather, from the point of view of the online readers. In other words, it is about the value that you can offer them and now what you are going to gain from the business interaction.

George Gribbin says that a copywriter should have a deep understanding of the people, gain deep understanding on what the people want, and have sympathy towards them. When writing your copy, be sure to do background researches on what the people want, and what they like.

It is important that you evaluate the challenges that are facing your clients, and tailor your copy to those challenges. As a general rule, business owners should desire to help in solving complex problems facing the greater society. Think about the people who are seeking bankruptcy services, and the anatomy of their business.

It is worth noting that business owners and individuals faced with bankruptcy can be very stressed. Therefore, you need to be a source of assurance. Your sales copy should not make it worse for your readers. The language that you use should show that you are sensitive to the needs of your clients.

Now that your clients are facing anguish and stress, then you need to be an advocate of your clients. You are going to plead on behalf of the client, and seek the most favorable outcome possible. The court of law can be intimidating for your clients, and you need to be able to demystify this process for the most optimal outcomes possible.

The Structure of the Copy

To start with, you should be sure to choose between business/formal and informal/casual. This is not your decision to make. The language and tone that you use, is the language and tone that is used by your clients. If you use a different language and tone, then, the you are going to alienate your readers. For example, older people will not feel comfortable with informal language and condensed wording. Whatever decision you make concerning the tone and language you use, making a conservative choice is generally perceived as a safer bet. Choosing an untested communication style on you could lead to a backlash.

When you write a copy for your bankruptcy consultancy, be clear and concise. You need to have a heading or title which is going to grab the attention of the reader, and you need to keep the readers hooked. Each part of the copy’s narrative should have a specific idea it is exploring. Rambling will make it difficult for you to pass the message across.

Do bear in mind that nothing is written in stone. You need to look at the circumstances of your business, and see if there are specific needs and preferences that will warrant a unique way of writing. You cannot copy what another business is doing, and paste it in your business. Rather, customize the writing of your copy in order to meet the needs of the business.

You need to think about how you can be authoritative in making your arguments. In connection to this, you need to show that you have done enough research before you make any claims. In order to show authority, you can either make qualitative or quantitative arguments. The good thing is that you can easily get data and statistics concerning bankruptcy trends.

Much as it is worth being seductive in your writing, do not be misleading. Be sure to give correct information. Nothing is as frustrating as a client reading certain information and finding a different thing on the ground. You should note that misleading someone in a piece of writing is wrong, unethical, and could be illegal. In addition to that, misleading your clients could damage the reputation of your office, and reversing the same takes a long time.

At the same time, avoid using jargon that your readers will not understand. Because bankruptcy and restructuring debt is a legal process, you need to devise a way of explaining terms in a manner that one can easily understand.

copywriting

Importance of Professionals

If you feel that you are not going to do a perfect job on this, then the best thing is to seek the services of a professional. Marketing agencies in the market can help you write as sales copy which is going to lead to conversion. They are available in the market, and you just need to peruse through the internet in order to find one.

It is important that you choose a marketing agency which has accumulated vast experience in the marketing field. If you are not sure about a certain marketing agency, be sure to check the comments at the bottom of the website, or better still, ask around from friends and relatives.

The professional or marketing agency that you choose should sufficient knowledge on working in the field of bankruptcy. This is because the field of bankruptcy has its special terminology that one must be aware of prior to writing. Of course, simple mistakes could mislead the online readers, and this could have far-reaching consequences.

Writing sales copies may seem cheap, but it is not. Bear in mind that you are going to be updating critical information. In addition to that, you will have to write a number of copies in order to suit your marketing needs. Therefore, you need to set aside the right budget for your sales copies. If you sign up for an expensive package, you might find yourself funding an expense that is stretching your office resources.

Lastly, the marketing agency that you choose should be sure to use ethical practices to boost your marketing portfolio. Some practices such as negative SEO could harm the reputation of your business. Rather than discrediting other professionals and businesses, it is better to concentrate on the strengths of the business, and present your case.

Conclusion

Being a bankruptcy consultant can be a lucrative position if you do the right planning. There are a lot of opportunities for growth and expansion. In addition to that, you will be working with people who need your professional opinion, and therefore, they are going to appreciate you. Overall, writing a copy which can convert will help you realize a high rate of return on investment.

Copywriting Formulas that Work

copywriting formulas

Intro

To get engagement with the people you need to sell your product to, you need their attention. To get that attention, to make it undivided, and under your complete control during the time that they spend looking at a sales pitch about your product you need proven copywriting tips. Copywriting is an art of writing that has been around for as long as there were people selling stuff. But after the win of capitalism over communism the amount and practice increased steadily. There are many copywriting tips out there and it can be a challenge to pick the ones that will work for you and your product or service in particular. That is why we have prepared quite a number of tasted copywriting tips in this article that should suit your needs. The formulas or tips discussed in this article are:

  1. AIDA
  2. BAB
  3. Who Else Wants…
  4. The Four Ps
  5. PAS
  6. The Secret Of
  7. ACCA
  8. FAB
  9. Little Known Solutions
  10. QUEST
  11. The Four U’s
  12. SLAP

1 AIDA

Apart from being a very beautiful name, AIDA is an acronym that many copywriters might be already familiar with. The letters stand for:

A- Attention – some sentence or statement that rips the reader out of his or her comfort and straight into what you are offering

I- Interest – People like to be presented with new and interesting things about their lives and the things that they need

D- Desire – Make sure to let them know that they need something and that you are the one who knows how to give them what they desire

A- Action – And finally, make sure to let them know what to do to fulfill that desire, for example, a link to a product

2 BAB

The second on our list of copywriting tips is also an acronym BAB. It stands for:

B- Before – The first statement should paint a picture of the life of your users or customers.

A- After – You identify a problem in their lives and ask them what it would be like if they could rid themselves of that problem with a little bit of help, help that you offer.

B- Bridge – The final part of your message should be an introduction to the way in which they can bridge the gap between what their life is like and what their life should or could be if they listen to your solution to their problem.

copywriting tips

3 Who Else Wants…

The third on our list and finally one of many copywriting tips that are not an acronym. This tip is similar to your usual “How to” post. You have to identify the needs of your users or customers. And with a simple title that starts with Who Else Wants X you can attract their attention without much effort. Be sure to use a lot of very fine descriptive language. Put yourself in their shoes. Be sure to show how you were also in their shoes once before but managed to turn things around. These types of copywriting tips are more common in the fitness industry. For example:

“Who Else Wants a firm butt”

“Who Else Wants a Small Waist”

“Who Else Wants Broad Shoulders”

“Who Else Wants Big Arms”

4 The Four P’s

This writing tip is actually a two in one solution.

The first solution or formula was coined by Henry Hoke Senior. It goes something like this:

Picture – Create some sort of image of the present or future, something that is either a thing that you think people need or have a problem with currently.

Promise – You make sure that if they follow your tips or solutions that they will no longer be stuck in that unwanted present or that with your help they will be set towards their desired future in no time and with less energy wasted.

Prove – Find ways to make people think that your solutions really work. The best way to do so is to find examples of real people in real life situations who have been helped by your approach to their problems or aspirations.

Push – Now it’s time for them to take action, encourage them that they are indeed capable of doing everything that is needed and join your affiliate, click your link, or buy your product.

The second solution is really similar but replaces some words, for example, the Four P’s stand for

Problem

Promise

Proof

Proposal

It is similar but as you can see, this second approach is much more problem-based. It thinks that presenting something as a problem will make people much more likely to take action and do something. On the other hand, a proposal sounds a lot nicer than a push, which in some parts of the world or culture, might be seen as too aggressive.

5 PAS

The fifth tip on our list of the best and proven copywriting tips out there is another very famous acronym. The three letters PAS stand for:

P- Problem – Start by identifying problem users or customers might have

A- Agitate – Agitate the problem by presenting its real severity and the possible impact that it might have on them

S- Solution – The third and final part of this formula is when and where you lead them “into the promised land”. In other words, you show them that you offer the ideal, ultimate solution for that nagging, ever-present issue in their lives.

If we were to do research that looked at various copywriting tips and find one that has prevalent use among social media posts, the PAS would probably be the MVP of that list.

copywriting secrets

6 The Secret Of

There is some form of innate need in everyone to belong to something rare, unknown, secretive. People like to feel special, to know what only a handful of people know. That is probably the reason why conspiracy theories are so popular. It is also why Gnosticism and similar religions that were influenced by it, were so popular and still raise and fall even 2500 years after the first Gnostic texts. People want to be in something that only a few have the right or privilege of.

This tip or formula can be used in almost everything. Let’s look at some titles that are featured in various commercials, blog posts, etc.

“The Secret of Looking 10 years younger”

“The Secret of Steph Curry’s Jumper”

“The Secret of Tom Brady’s Leadership”

“The Secret of Steve Nash’s court vision”

“The Secret of Ronaldo’s Ball Control”

“The Secret of running a successful Pet store”

“The secret Restaurant Equipment for Sale

7 ACCA

Seventh on our list of wonderful copywriting tips is another acronym that is fairly easy to remember. The letter ACCA stands for

A – Awareness – There is a problem, with wide-ranging consequences, for your audience that they are not aware of.

C – Comprehension – This problem has a lot of levels and depths to it, make sure that you describe and explain every single one of them to the best of your abilities.

C – Conviction – Make them believe that the solution is in their hands, that they need just a bit of faith or conviction in themselves to help solve this problem.

A – Action – And finally, make sure to direct their newfound hope, will, and conviction towards action that helps.

This copywriting formula is mostly used by charities or other organizations that need to arouse a sense of compassion out of people. At times we all think that we had it rough, but it is copywriting tips like this one that can help people realize just how good their life really is.

8 FAB

This copywriting formula stands for:

F- Feature– You have a service or item that you want to sell or get noticed by people, so you describe it and every single positive that it could bring to the potential customer

A – Advantages – Sure, there are other products out there, but in the second part of this formula you take care to explain what the advantages of your product or service are.

B – Benefits – The use and appliance of your product or service will be life-changing for them. Describe and enumerate as best as you can the numerous benefits they will enjoy as soon as they start using your item or service.

One of those newer copywriting tips that take a novel approach of “It’s not important what it is, but what it does.”

9 Little Known Solutions

People might and often assume that just because something is popular it is also the best. That is not necessarily the case, and there are a lot of people whose automatic judgment may be to push for the little known as the superior option. This is where the number 9 tip on our list of proven copywriting tips comes in. Known as “Little Known Solutions to X”, this formula makes people believe that they are about to be part of a secret club. In addition to that, it can also make them reach for their wallets faster because it also states that the rarity of X makes it more desirable.

Successful copywriting tips make people feel good, special, and unique about themselves. A couple of example of this formula are:

“Little Known Ways to Make Gardening More Fun”

“Little Known Ways to rekindle Passion in your Marriage”

“Little Known Ways to keep your New Year’s Resolutions”

10 QUEST

You might not have noticed, but copywriting tips sometimes come with an acronym. The same is true about the tenth entry on our list of copywriting tips or formulas, QUEST. The letters stand for

Q – Qualify – The first step is to understand what your product or service is and who needs it, followed by the introduction as to why your product or service is the one to go

U – Understand -Make them feel like you know where they are, that their current issue was also your issue.

E – Educate – Show them what you have learned, tell them about every single way that you used to solve the issue at hand.

S – Stimulate – Praise your ways, show examples and proofs that will motivate or stimulate them to give your way a chance

T – Transition – Show them the way to become your customers. Now they are only people reading a post or ad, but once they try your product they will become different people, better people.

11 The Four U’s

The UUUU or the Four U’s principle stands for:

Useful – The first of the Four U’s is knowing that you need to be useful. Readers don’t have too much time to waste, so make their time count.

Urgency – make sure to make them believe that there needs to be action right away. Your product is limited, or something is so popular that it is flying off shelves. Even if you apply this to blog posts it can work. Just convince the readers that they will benefit from this post as soon as they read it.

Unique – Be sure to convince them that what you are offering is unique in the way that it will benefit them. People might see similar but the effects will be superior.

Ultra Specific – Be very detailed, as much as possible, ultra-specific about the three U’s that we mentioned earlier.

The creator of this copywriting tip was non-other than business guru Michael Masterson. He showed just how effective it can be when it is used or headlines or titles.

12 SLAP

The last entry on our list of the best copywriting tips and formulas is another acronym SLAP. It stands for:

S – Stop – Makes sure that you create something, like a title.

L – Look -that Title will make your audience stop and want to explore what you offer.

A – Act – Those two should make their mind eager for more and to find out more they will have to do what our final step implies

P – Purchase – THe final effect of this copywriting tip is making sure that the readers will go out and buy what you have to offer.

When you want to write a book blurb, for example, you can choose this formula.

How to Write a Novel

writing a novel

Create that winning story idea

When thinking about Novel Writing you have to realize that this means you will be writing 75,000 to 100,000 words on this story. That is a lot of writing. In novel writing most writers will write somewhere between 1,000 and 3,000 words per day. Let’s say you are somewhere in the middle at 2,000 words per day and you work 6 days a week on your book. You are making a commitment in the case of an 80,000 word book to at least 7 weeks of solid work.

This period is going to be the minimum amount of time that it takes to complete your book and assumes that you get no false starts and that you are able to just write and it all comes together perfectly.

Will your story sustain 75,000 to 100,000 words? Will the story keep the reader’s interest over that length of book? If you have doubts, then think again for another idea.

A great way of understanding the market, and what is selling, is to take a look at the Amazon best-sellers list. Check-out the kind of books that are selling. Learn from those already actively Novel Writing

The last thing that you want is to spend all that time writing and then have nobody buy the book.

Your technique

There are two primary sorts of writers. There are those that sit down and plan out the whole book before they start to write. They will know the entire story and what each chapter will contain. Only then will they fill in the actual writing into each chapter. Then again, there are those that like to jump straight in and discover the story as it goes along, certainly a more risky strategy and may require a lot of rewriting in some cases, as ideas fail to pan out. Author Stephen King is one of these writers and just jumps straight into the story.

In Novel Writing I suggest that you do have at least a minimal structure otherwise you run the risk of completing the story in 20,000 words.

Get your research done

Your reader must be able to believe in what you write. Even a story like Harry Potter had to have a structure within which the author set the stories. Even though the stories were fantasy there had to be a set of rules within which the fantasy played out.

If writing a story that is based around a San Jaoquin County Project Management Company, for example, you need to be accurate about procedures and what can or cannot be done in that context. If you have glaring errors, it distracts the reader from the story and makes it unbelievable. Keep your characters consistent, make notes about each main character describing them physically and mentally. Make a note about their relationships with other characters. That way, if they re-enter the story later in the book, you will be sure that they have not suddenly become a very different character.

That special character

Of all the characters in the book, there will probably be one who takes center stage throughout the book. The hero or protagonist. It is important that this character develops through the story and ultimately develops into someone with a heroic persona. They must be a better version of themselves than they were at the start.

This is not to say that the hero/heroine has to be perfect, in fact to make them more believable it helps if they have some flaws. Flaws that can be corrected by the end of the story. Your antagonist (bad guy) also has to be well thought out. Do not make him bad without showing why he is bad. If he/she is bad, then help the reader understand why.

For every single character you need to have written down in your notes, the answers to:

  • What do they want?
  • Who or what is stopping them from getting it?
  • What will they do to fix this?

Sometimes it is easy to get a lot of characters confused. Try and make each character different from all the others. Do not add too many characters in one go or the reader will just find it too much work and will quit.

 

novel writing

Expand the writing idea into a full length plot

All books have a structure, many of them follow a simple formula. The author simply hangs the story on this structure, Let’s take a look at a typical structure. Nearly every writing coach is going to provide pretty much the same basic structure.

  • The opener
  • An exciting occurrence that has a huge impact
  • Waves of further crises that add stress to the situation
  • A Climax
  • A conclusion

In novel writing it is the utmost importance to capture the reader at the earliest opportunity (the exciting occurrence) and then keep them hooked by employing the subsequent crises as the whole story builds towards its climax. Then after the climax give the raiders closure by filling in the gaps in the story.

Even the most well known authors tend to follow this structure, even though at first glance their writing may seem very different.

Who is telling the story?

In writing the story you will choose which voice to use.

  • First Person: I and me
  • Second Person: You and Your
  • Third Person: He, she or it

In an ideal world this means that the Point of View that narrates the story should be consistent throughout the story. If that is not possible, then only one POV per chapter. Your reader will view the whole story from the perspective of the one chosen character. You may think that this limits the writer to using the first person only, but the fact is that most stories are written in the third person.

The fact is that nothing will have more impact on the story than the point of view it is written from.

In Novel writing, switching points of view is one of the biggest mistakes new writers make. Avoid doing this at all costs. The point of view not only decides the Voice that is used to write (first person, second person, third person) but also controls whose story it is. The point of view is limited to what the selected character knows, sees, and hears. You cannot simply drop in scenes that the character could not possibly know about.

First Person

Some people say this is the best voice for a novice as it forces the author to only include what the main character sees himself/herself.

Second Person

By using the second person, you are forcing the reader into the story as the protagonist. While this is common in non-fiction, in fiction it is relatively rare. Not recommended for the novice.

Third Person

The most commonly used voice in novel writing. As you tell the story using he, she, it, or the name of the character, you are limited to what that character can actually see, hear or know.

Start when the action is underway

Novel Writing some novice authors believe that before telling the actual story, it is necessary to explain the whole situation and describe the characters and location. This makes for very boring reading. Why does the reader even care about all that stuff since they don’t know the significance? Page 1 should go straight into the story, capturing the interest of the reader.

The backstory, if required, can be filled in later on, once the reader is hooked. In Novel Writing every sentence, paragraph, page and chapter has just one aim. That aim is to ensure the reader just has to read more.

novel writing techniques

Trigger imagination

Many people when comparing a book with the movie are heard to say that they prefer the book. This seems strange, as in the movie you get to see the whole story layed out on the screen for you. How the scenes look, is very much down to the set designer. What if they design a set that looks nothing like you had imagined it when reading the book? Your mind is faced with a conflict.

After reading a book, you know how that scene should look and however big the budget of the movie might be, it can never compare with what your brain can create, Your imagination is far more powerful.

The job of a writer, in novel writing, is not to describe exactly how every scene looks, your job is to allow the reader to imagine it themselves, after you have provided an outline.

Make the storyline tough

A big mistake that novices make is to make life too easy for the protagonist. Give the hero a tough time. Your story started with the hero is a tough situation. Your job now is to make it even tougher as it builds to a climax. They give the hero too many resources to use to overcome the situation. The writer needs to start with fewer resources and ensure that he loses many of those that he does have.

Because your protagonist is going to eventually overcome the problems, do not make the mistake of making him totally inept. He can have weaknesses, and faults, but make them so that he can eventually overcome them.

Make it hopeless

Early on in the plot you need to create that moment where everything is falling apart and it almost seems impossible for things to turn around. It should seem like it’s all coming to an end, but leave just a slight remote hope that, even though it seems hopeless, is still there.

Bring it all to that big finale

As you approach the end of the story all the strands should have come together as the hero comes to face the ultimate test. Everything is individually building towards the big finale. The reader can see that all the individual stories are finally coming together and to overcome this ultimate test seems absolutely hopeless, but then suddenly the reader sees an opportunity for the hero to come through after all. Then it all turns around and the situation is resolved and the hero is victorious. Do not forget the emotional inale as well as the overall victory.

Make the end satisfying

The hero has overcome and this is where the reader gets the reward for sticking with the hero. The best possible solution has been found and the writer should play up the emotional release. The hero should not just disappear and the story peter out, keep the hero as central to the very end.

Final Points to consider in novel writing

The structure I have described can work with any time of story, whether it be a love story, an adventure, science fiction, or whatever. The same elements are present in all kinds of stories.

When you first consider writing a novel it appears to be a project of such magnitude that it is beyond your abilities. You may doubt whether you have the staying power to continue with the project for months on end. Do not be phased by all this. Earlier I gave a time in which technically the average writer could complete a novel. That is not carved in stone. If it takes you two or three times as long, do not worry. As long as each day you are working at it and making some progress, it will eventually be finished. If you start to take breaks of ever increasing lengths then you will be doomed.

You will know if you are on to a winner if you cannot wait to write the next section, if the story is drawing you in and excites you, the author.Stay focussed on what you set out to achieve. Become the hero that faces great difficulties and overcomes them.

Never let fear of failure decide your course of action. If you complete the novel and it bombs, you will still have done something that most people could not achieve. You will have grown in stature and after a short break, be ready to start again, armed with your experience and new knowledge, far better equipped to succeed.

Resources that will Lead to Writing Improvement Skills

Writing Improvement Skills

 

When you are a professional writer, it is imperative to ensure the work that you submit is of the right quality. It should be free of spelling mistakes, grammatically correct, and use the language of the appropriate reading level for your reader. The following tools in section 1 will assist you. Moving on to section 2, we have several free courses on writing-related topics which will serve to provide more confidence.

Section 1 – List of the Best Writing Improvement Applications

Grammarly application

Grammarly

Grammarly is a well-known grammar checking application that will assist with the various aspects of your writing. It comes in two versions, the FREE application and also the PREMIUM application. The free application comes with these features:

  • Spell checking
  • Grammar checking
  • Punctuation checking
  • Conciseness checking

Many people find that these tools are quite enough for their writing improvement needs, but professional writers may feel they would benefit from the Premium version. In addition to all the features supplied with the free version, the professional version comes with some additional tools:

  • Rewrites of sentences that will improve the clarity
  • Adjustments to the tone of the language used.
  • Plagiarism detection
  • Assistance with the choice of words
  • Formality level adjustments
  • Fluency
  • More

The application is designed so that it can be merged with existing writing tools so that the writer can carry out these checks from within other applications. This is a handy feature. These extensions to the Grammarly application are all free.

Grammarly for Windows

Grammarly for Windows allows users like if a locksmith West Palm Beach wanted to access the features of Grammarly from within applications seamlessly running on the Windows desktop. and leading to writing improvement.

Grammarly for Microsoft Word or Outlook

This extension allows users to add Grammarly to the toolbar within Word or Outlook. This means an even tighter integration than the Grammarly for Windows allows.

Chrome Extension

Grammarly has its own Chrome extension which integrates the Grammarly application into the Chrome Browser.

Grammarly Mobile Application

Get the Grammarly keyboard and install the Grammarly app on your mobile phone

Grammarly for iPad

Originally Grammarly was just for Windows devices. However, you can now install Grammarly onto your iPad, bringing the convenience of Grammarly to Apple.

Prices

Grammarly is provided FREE in the standard plan, with just the core features. If you want to upgrade to the Premium Plan, that will cost $11.66 every month. There is a third option for business users which can be purchased for teams between 3 people and 149 people. These plans start at $12.50 a month.

Plagiarism Checker X Pro Software

Plagiarism Checker X Pro

When writing articles and carrying out research on topics online, it is so easy to rewrite portions of what you read while researching inadvertently. This material, if re-published on your website or your client’s website, will have an impact on Google rankings, so work mustn’t include any plagiarism.

Similarly for academic writing, plagiarism is not allowed, and most schools will run dissertations through Plagiarism scanners like Copyscape (the market leader).No plagiarism means writing improvement

Whilst I use the Copyscape website to check work on occasions, my favorite plagiarism checker is the Plagiarism Checker X Pro 400, which is downloaded to my PC. Unlike Copyscape that charge you every time a check is made, The Plagiarism Checker X Pro 400 is free to use, once you have purchased it. This makes it a greater money saver.

This application assists writers to detect plagiarism when writing blog posts, research papers, assignments for school, and websites. It is fast to use, and I have found it to be very accurate.

Students

Plagiarism Checker X is one of the easiest plagiarism checkers to use. Students can get higher grades by eliminating plagiarism in their assignments. The detector will can the assignment and highlight any instances of plagiarism it finds in the results. It even issues a report telling you where the material originally appeared and which sections are the problem.

Plagiarism Checker X Features

  • Compatible with Docx, Doc, Rtf, Pdf documents
  • It works in seven languages English, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, and Dutch,
  • Used in 80 Countries Around the World
  • Checks documents against online sources fast.
  • You can compare two documents to avoid any risk of search engine penalties.
  • Teachers can check multiple essays in one go, a BIG timesaver.
  • Use the application to scan your blog/website.
  • Comprehensive reports that indicate the level of plagiarism found.

Several universities around the world use this application. An outstanding feature is that unlike online plagiarism checkers that force you to upload your document to their website, with this application, your work remains on your own computer. Much safer and more secure.

There are three versions of this application:

FREE – Maximum of ten searches daily with a word limit – $0

PROFESSIONAL – 1 user license, no limitations, 24/7 support – $39.95

BUSINESS – 5 user license, extended support – $147.95

WordCounter.net

Word Counter

As the name suggests, this website Wordcounter.net will count the number of words in your article. That in itself is nothing remarkable as most word processing applications have that feature built-in. Wordcounter offers far more than just counting words, and can analyze your document and improve your writing as well.

If you actually write within word counter, you will see the word and character totals updating as you type or delete them. It is constantly updating. Another useful feature is that the application will autosave your work automatically and you are not going to lose your work if there is a computer malfunction of a power outage. Whenever you start up your computer and open the application, your work is waiting there as it was when you left the site.

Another useful feature is that the application will show you the top 10 keywords for your article, so if you have been given a keyword to use by a client you can keep track of how many times it has been used and what percentage it is on. This is very useful as a way of avoiding the overuse of certain words.

Another specification that clients will often ask a writer to adhere to is the reading level of the article. Wordcounter will calculate the reading level of the article and the reading time as you write, so you can modify your language to keep within limits.

Additionally, the application has got a whole host of other checks on the toolbar, some of which may interest you and some which may not. The best thing about this application is that it is free; there is no upgrade; you get the whole application at no cost.

Something often overlooked in this writing improvement application is the More option on the main menu. If you click on this, you will be taken to a page where there are links to a whole selection of specialist tools for writers. These include:

  1. Words per page calculator
  2. Webpage word count
  3. List Alphabetizing tool (handy)
  4. Basic Word Countries
  5. Editing Counter tracks increase and decrease of words when editing.
  6. Random word generator
  7. Sentence Capitalizer Tool
  8. Citation Generator

These extra tools have frequently been a great help to me with my writing.

Hemmingway editor

Hemingway

Hemingway is an ultra-basic word processor that has minimal formatting options across the toolbar. These include just the following options:

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • H1
  • H2
  • H3
  • Quote
  • Bullets
  • Numbers
  • Link

That’s it; you do not get any other options. It is designed as a distraction-free writing environment where you can concentrate on the content and not get too involved in over-complicated formatting while you write. If that were all that Hemingway offered, it might be interesting but would not be included in my top writing improvement tools for writers.

What Hemingway actually offers is an editing facility that will highlight different issues with your writing cleanly and clearly, and it does so as you write.

In the middle of the page, you have a clean typing area where you can write your masterpiece. At the top of this section are the formatting features I already mentioned, placed discreetly out of the way. On the right of the page is the compelling part of this application.

At the top of the right-hand column, you have the readability section which scores your work into the correct reading grade. This is followed by whether this is good or bad, to make it really clear. Underneath that is the word count, character count, sentence count, and paragraph count.

Moving down the column there are five colored boxes which relate to

  • Number of Adverbs
  • The Use fo Passive Voice
  • Phrases with Simpler Alternatives
  • Hard to Read Sentences
  • Very Hard to read Sentences.

As you type it will adjust the totals shown in the right-hand boxes, and highlight the text, they relate to. So, for example, if you were to write a sentence that was hard to read, it would highlight the sentence in yellow, and add one to the score in the yellow box. When you go back to rewrite the sentence, it will clear the highlighting and reduce the total by one.

The online version of Hemingway is free and has full writing improvement functionality. If you prefer a version to use offline, you can purchase the app for $19.95.

Improve Your Writing courses

Section 2 – Improve Your Writing

Having covered all the best applications that will monitor your writing and guide you regarding potential errors you are making, we will now look deeper at writing, and I have some resources which will help you build your skills to a higher level.

Grammar and Punctuation Course

After completing this course from the University of California, Irving, you should be able to identify and utilize the correct verb tenses, use commas the right way, and have an understanding of the various types of sentences. You will be able to write far more effectively in English. It is an ideal revision course for those people who have forgotten the grammar that they used to know from schooldays. The course encompasses 22 hours of materials and is run quite regularly.

Enroll Now

Free Creative Writing Course

If you are a beginner when it comes to writing, this may well be the perfect course for you to undertake. The course will provide an introduction to the primary elements of creative writing. The course contains eight modules which you can work through at your own pace, allowing you to fit the course in at times that suit you. The course looks at a variety of writing which may range from prose to poetry, and most people find it is an enjoyable experience. The best part is that this course is completely free and you can start today.

Start Now

The Non-Sexy Business of Writing Non-Fiction

It has an odd title, but it is a great little free writing improvement course that looks at writing non-fiction. This course will cover the preparation before starting to write a book. It goes on to provide some secret tips that will make writing easier. Organizing your writing and planning your book, together with setting word count goals and the importance of grabbing the attention of readers.

Enroll Now

Academic and Business Writing

This course from Berkeley University is designed to provide instruction in grammar, vocabulary, structuring your work, the importance of editing, and finally publishing. It is a five-week course that is offered for free. If you want to get a verified certificate at the end, then you can add that at $49, but this is optional. It is an introductory level course than needs between 3 – 5 hours each week.

The course materials are provided using reading materials and video, and there will be short assignments and quizzes, together with longer essays.

Enroll Now

Conclusion

I hope that this short article on writing improvement has proven useful in helping you take on the challenge of creative writing. So many people are nervous about sitting down to write, but with the applications, we have listed and these short introductory courses, it is possible for anyone to sit down and write.

 

749 – How to Identify Your Main Point. It’s Harder Than You Think!

You think you know what you’re trying to say, but are you making it clear? Joel Schwartzberg, author of “Get to the Point” has some great tips for, well, getting to the point.LINKS AND SPONSORS |Learn how you can get my LinkedIn Learning course free: https://t.co/coQuXJRtrT |GRAMMAR GIRL EMAIL NEWSLETTER |https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/newsletters |GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME |Optimized for iPad: http://bit.ly/iPadGrammarPop |For iPad and iPhone: http://bit.ly/GrammarPopMobile |PEEVE WARS CARD GAME |https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/grammar-girl-s-peeve-wars |GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS |http://bit.ly/GrammarPopBooks |GRAMMAR GIRL IS PART OF THE QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS PODCAST NETWORK |VOICEMAIL: 833-214-GIRL (833-214-4475) 

751 – Why Are There So Many Spellings for ‘Hanukkah’? (Or Is That ‘Chanukah’?)

Hebrew and English don’t use the same alphabet, which is why you see so many different spellings for “Hanukkah.” The word is transliterated from Hebrew instead of being directly translated from Hebrew.LINKS AND SPONSORS |Learn how you can get my LinkedIn Learning course free: https://t.co/coQuXJRtrT |GRAMMAR GIRL EMAIL NEWSLETTER |https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/newsletters |GRAMMAR POP iOS GAME |Optimized for iPad: http://bit.ly/iPadGrammarPop |For iPad and iPhone: http://bit.ly/GrammarPopMobile |PEEVE WARS CARD GAME |https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/grammar-girl-s-peeve-wars |GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS |http://bit.ly/GrammarPopBooks |GRAMMAR GIRL IS PART OF THE QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS PODCAST NETWORK |VOICEMAIL: 833-214-GIRL (833-214-4475)

How to Create Dynamic Southern Characters in your Writing

southern dynamic characters

 

There are so many novels, movies and plays set in major cities on both coasts that they’re mining the tailings to find some new story to tell. This is leading many to create stories set in the South, whether it is historical or modern. Let’s learn how to write dynamic Southern characters. We’ll also share a number of mistakes you don’t want to make that undermine the effort.

Update Your Expectations

Far too many modern novels and scripts feature Southern characters that look like they were ripped out of classic novels like “Gone with the Wind”. Side characters modeled after “The Dukes of Hazard” are no better. Tropes like the stupid Southern redneck, the hypocritical or hyper-controlling Southern preacher, the gullible religious congregants and oppressed black character in need of saving by the main character should not even be considered. We also need to say that watching movies like “Forest Gump” and “Sweet Home Alabama” don’t count as research.

How can you avoid making literally stereotypical mistakes in Southern character writing? If you’re writing about white characters, especially people in rural areas often demonized as “white trash” or “trailer trash”, Read books like “Hillbilly Elegy”, “White Flight”, “White Trash: The Untold Story of Untold History of Class in America”. And recognize that the terms “white trash” and “trailer trash” are offensive to such people. To better understand the black experience, I would recommend “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration”, “My Vanishing Country”, “Black Rednecks and White Liberals”, and “Between the World and Me”. To better understand the general modern culture, try reading “Deep South: Four Seasons on Back Roads”.

Be Careful about Inverting Tropes in Tried-and-True Ways

A depressingly common and vile trope is the stupid white redneck. Note that a character with the same low intelligence and “country culture” that is black is almost as bad. If the main character of your story shows up to “educate” the backward racist hicks or liberate the oppressed blacks, you’re playing to an elitist liberal message that many people will consider offensive. You’ll get accused of white saviorism if the main character is a literal white knight who shows up to educate the ignorant and liberate the oppressed.

One way this trope is often inverted is the Southern Fried Genius. The character Sheldon Cooper from “The Big Bang Theory” is but one example of this, though it is also exemplified with the educated Southern lawyer Atticus Finch in “To Kill a Mockingbird”. They may have good old Southern values or otherwise share the local culture, but they’re made different by being a genius. This attempt to invert the trope of the stupid hick tends to take the form of surprisingly advanced farm machinery they made themselves, the self-taught black genius in a small town or a gentleman farmer sitting on some amazing discovery. Unfortunately, the simplest way to continue the association of this genius character with Southern culture is to give them what is called a “Hayseed Name”.

How can you avoid these mistakes in writing Southern character writing? Learn what the most popular baby names in a state were for the year that the character was born. An old woman may be named Rose or Iris, but her daughter may be Barbara or Judy, while the grandchildren may have more popular names like Jessica and Brittany.

Another solution is knowing the bad stereotypes that undermine the narrative and avoiding them altogether. Don’t make the average population a collection of idiots and fools barring the one rogue genius. Don’t make the genius a Mary Sue or Gary Stu. They shouldn’t be perfect. Note that wearing glasses or being clumsy are too trope to be the genius’s failings. Don’t rely on lazy stereotypes with modern updates for Southern character writing. Ditch the tropes like the racist white Southern cop who is the de facto lord of the town. Trying to subvert it by making him a closeted gay or married to an Asian war-bride doesn’t cut it. Don’t spread hateful stereotypes by implying every other person is a member of the Klan or making moonshine. An update of that trope is home-brewing rednecks and driving drunk past cops.

Understand that when you’re an outsider, inverting tropes by playing to wish-fulfillment isn’t going to cut it. Let’s take the politically correct solution having your dainty Southern belle come out as lesbian or announcing her interracial love affair. Wish fulfillment playing on these tropes would either have her backward Southern relatives disown her while she runs off to happy liberal America or abandoning their beliefs because “love overcomes everything”. That is as bad as having Muslim fundamentalists in a story set in Saudi Arabia magically converting to California liberalism because a son comes out as gay. It also ignores all of the cultural adaptations and solutions people come up with to get through life, for better and for worse. Don’t act as if married pregnant 13 year olds and four-times-divorced Southern trailer trash characters are supposed to be taken seriously, much less considered normal and acceptable. Learn the values and the language of the people you’re trying to represent, and portray them honestly and respectfully. Then your Southern character writing is interesting to your audience without offending a third of them. And if you don’t care about offending your most likely readers, you should try a different genre.

southern character language

Be Careful with Language

Are there people who still speak with a Southern accent today? The answer is yes. Are they all stupid? Of course not. Do not make the mistake of equating a Southern accent with low intelligence, because that trope is based on hateful stereotypes from the Reconstruction Era. Don’t think that someone losing their Southern accent counts as character development, much less an advancement in their station in life. Good Southern character writing creates fleshed-out characters, not tropes for the wish-fulfillment of the audience. The latter scenario is message fiction, that rarely makes for a good story.

The advice “show, don’t tell” doesn’t apply to character’s conversations. Say that the person has a strong Southern accent or a touch of a Southern twang. Don’t waste the reader’s time and patience trying to write out a Southern drawl in order to make the characters seem authentic. You might use it a touch here and there, such as “He said the word damn and stretched it out to four syllables.”

Another common mistake is using cutesy sayings that almost no one uses in real life. Good Southern character writing uses phrases and sayings people actually use. Examples of this include: bless your heart, pitching a hissy fit, burn in his saddle, knickers in a knot, a snake in the grass, the sun comes up just to hear him crow, could make a preacher cuss, Nashville Demolition, or poor as a church mouse. You will lose the reader when you use multiple such phrases in a single conversation, because people don’t actually talk that way. Learn how these sayings are actually used, so that you don’t make a mistake. For example, “bless your heart” is often an insult or backhanded compliment. It is closer in meaning to “God bless you, because you’re such an idiot” than “May God bless you and keep you”.

Another common mistake is making everything literally black and white, where both use Southern vernacular if lower class and Midwestern / California coastal language patterns if in the upper class or otherwise “Educated”. The number of Hispanics in the South has been rising for years. They’ve been the dominant population in South Texas and South Florida since those regions became states. And Southern factories have been recruiting people from Mexico and Central America for years. This influences the languages one may hear in your modern or even historic novel. While there are a few Cajuns who speak French, it will also be heard among Haitian immigrants. While many of them live in Florida, there are moderately large communities of French speaking Haitians in Georgia and northern Georgia. And none of them are speaking the French you might have learned in French class. And Hispanics in Texas and the rest of the South don’t use Castilian Spanish. Yes, Southern character writing may result in them speaking a variety of languages.

Stay Away from the Plantation in Georgia

One can make the joke that nearly every British show seems to take place in London, as if that is the entire UK. The Southern variation of this trope is everything either taking place in Atlanta, Georgia, New Orleans, Louisiana, and maybe Memphis, Tennessee. Do you get better Southern character writing? Have the story take place in other parts of the South.

Another variation of this mistake is using the same “set pieces” for your story. How everyone is either living in a Southern mansion, old rundown house on a farm, and little else in between. If someone thinks they are creative, then the story may include a ghetto apartment in Atlanta or a suburban house in an expanding Southern city that is indistinguishable from one in California. Consider learning about the architecture of the area where you’re setting the story. For example, have people in an older neighborhood living in a shotgun house. The name comes from the joke that you could stand at the front door and shoot through the house and out the back door. If you’re going to talk about New Orleans, learn about how the high water table affects the architecture. People don’t dig graves, because it will fill with water. Instead, they have above-ground tombs.

If you’re in suburbia, you’re more likely to find ranch homes than condos and townhomes due to the lower cost of land. There are fewer old, dense neighborhoods that are walkable like Boston or New York City, though you could find this in modern master-planned mixed-use developments across the south. And in the New Black South, you will find entire suburban subdivisions that are mostly black.

southern dielect

Understand the Culture

One of the keys to authentic Southern character writing is understanding the culture they live in. A good starting point is the food. You can set the place simply by setting the table with chess pie, pecan pie or peach cobbler instead of apple pie. And you certainly wouldn’t have them eat Boston chowder, unless they’re trying something new to them. Not everything is fried, but a survey of Southern cook books can make it seem that way. And recognize that the South is not one monolithic culture. There are differences between Memphis barbecue and Texas barbecue. There are other variations from cultural values to dialects. I’d recommend reading “American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures in North America” to understand these subcultures and where they apply.

We can say that Southerners in general are much more likely to hunt. Around 10 percent of all American men do. The percentage is higher in the South and West than the East and West coasts. Fishing is even more popular. Self-reliance remains a strong cultural value, but don’t demonize every Southerner as a farmer or prepper. What you will see is a far larger share of the population that is or has served in the military. A Department of Defense Population Representation in the Military Services report found that 44 percent of recruits come from the south, though the region has only a third of the population.

Southern character writing draws from a culture more diverse than the world portrayed in “Deliverance”. You still see significant segregation in the churches, where blacks and whites self-segregate into their respective congregations each Sunday. But there are growing numbers of atheists and Catholics, the latter often driven by Hispanic immigration. Interracial relationships are rarely an issue anymore, and the black man marrying a white woman is more likely to get flak from other blacks than whites. There are Muslims and Buddhists of all colors due to conversion, while you see a growing number of Hispanic Protestants. You will find Spanish-language Evangelical churches in the Bible Belt.

Know the Local Locus Point

I mentioned that the United States can be divided into roughly a dozen distinct cultures. However, the country as a whole can be broken up even further into several dozen regions, each with a cultural focal point. For example, north Texas is dominated by the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. It isn’t the land of cowboys and oil wells, though these industries still affect the local economy. More importantly, this metro area of several million is the urban hub and center of education, culture and the service industry for a large section of the state.

Look at the maps that tell you what areas are served by a major metropolitan hub. Southern characters may dream of going to Los Angeles or New York or not, but they probably went to college in the nearest major city. That large city will be their first choice for cutting edge medical treatment and going to see a big play live. Learn more about the cultural and economic impact of that city.

Summary

The key to good Southern character writing is abandoning the tropes and expectations set by classic literature. Learn about the real South from the geography to the economy to the culture, and then write dynamic Southern characters that live in that world as it really is.