Jeanne Owens, author

Blog about author Jeanne Owens and her writing


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How to Improve Your Writing Skills: Take Your Writing from Good to Great – by Nicole Dieker…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on The Write Life:

Soooo… you’ve been writing for a while. Maybe you seriously got into writing fiction a year ago; maybe you’ve been a freelance writer for three or four years now. Maybe you started writing a book and it didn’t go anywhere.

You know you want to improve your writing, but you don’t know HOW. What do you need to do to take your writing to the next level? Are there practical, actionable steps you can take to get your writing from GOOD to GREAT?

YES. Writing, like everything else, can benefit from what is called deliberate practice — a focused, disciplined attempt at identifying areas of improvement (and then, of course, improving them).

Here’s how to improve your writing skills — in three (or maybe four) easy steps.

Continue reading HERE

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How to Write Point of View, Part 9, The Unreliable Narrator and POV

Story Empire

Pictures of single eyes scattered atop one another and ringed by purple, red, or yellow eye shadow. From Pixabay.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Hi SErs! It’s a day of Harmony here at Story Empire 🙂 Today, I’d like to talk about how to write Point of View (POV), and how to use your chosen lens, when employing an unreliable narrator in your story.

The First Person lens/POV choice has often been touted as the only point of view for employing an unreliable narrator. However, as this post will explore, us writers have alternative options we can choose to use.

What is an Unreliable Narrator?

The term ‘unreliable narrator’ was first coined by literary critic Wayne C. Booth in his 1961 book,The Rhetoric of Fiction.

An unreliable narrator is a character or commentator in the story who can lie to the reader, and often, themselves. Such a person presents facts, opinions, and conclusions that aren’t, necessarily, consistent with the actuality of the world and events in…

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Expansion Pack: Story Engineering

Story Empire

Hi, Gang. Craig with you again today with another one of my Expansion Packs. I stole the idea from some video games who offer additional levels, or new scenarios for download. In this case, I’m throwing back to my series on Three Act Structure.

I have two lessons for you today, and the first one is pretty simple. Make friends in this business, and don’t be afraid to reach out to those who know more about something than yourself. The second lesson is for my guest to present.

Sue Coletta is a dear friend, and the author of some incredible Crime Thrillers. She’s even branched out into true crime and it’s well worth checking her wares out. She commented on one of my series posts, and it piqued my interest.

Sue commented about how she uses Story Engineering and Milestones to craft her tales. There is a lot of…

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13 Ways to Convince a Literary Agent to Represent You – by Rachelle Gardner…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on The Write Life:

You’ve been trying to crack the code for getting a literary agent’s attention, whether in a query or a face-to-face meeting, right? You’ve been searching high and low for the secret to making an agent sit up and say “Wow!”

Well, since I’m in a good mood, I’m going to risk ostracism from my colleagues by breaking the Agent Code of Secrecy.

Continue reading HERE

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How to avoid overcorrecting after receiving feedback – by Nathan Bransford…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Utilizing feedback to improve a manuscript during the editing process is one of the most crucial skills for any budding writer to develop.

But when I’m editing manuscripts, I so often see situations where authors made very confusing choices, like eliminating all physical description and/or exposition, launching straight into an action scene before the reader has gotten their bearings, or starting with a baffling prologue.

When we later have our consultation call after the edit, the author will invariably sigh and go, “Yeah, one of my beta readers said I should do X, Y, and Z.”

It usually turns out that the feedback was directionally correct, but the author took the advice too far and ended up making things worse.

Here’s how to avoid overcorrecting and ending up in the proverbial writing ditch.

Continue reading HERE

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Open Your Scenes with These 3 Cinematic Techniques – by C.S. Lakin…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on Live Write Thrive:

Let’s get to basics on writing fiction. And that’s your setup in the first few pages. Readers will often stop reading before they finish the first page of your story. While this has always been true, in this fast-paced age that foments impatience, it’s even more true.

If a writer doesn’t deliver what a reader hopes for on that first page, it’s going to be tough to convince the reader to stick around for the whole chapter—let alone the whole book.

We’ve been looking at all the things needed on a first page of a novel or short story. And while it’s not a hard-and-fast rule that all these elements have to show up on page 1, the more elements a writer includes, the better.

This, of course, is going to vary a lot. And if a writer is starting with a prologue or some scene…

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Writing Set-Up for the Big Reveal!

Story Empire

Greetings, SE Readers. Beem with you today. First, I want to thank everybody involved with Story Empire for the warm welcome extended to me as a new member. The invitation to join truly is an honor. I would also like to wish everybody a Happy New Year. Here is my first post.

New story

Some writers swear by the outline. Other writers, those seat-of-the-pants types, have little time for such nonsense. The desire to get that story from head to page is much too urgent. I’m not going to rehash that old outline-versus-pantser argument. Writers will choose the one that works best for the individual and run with it.

What I’d like to share today is the set-up. This is where an outline really comes in handy, though it certainly isn’t necessary. Most writers know what the set-up entails. It’s those breadcrumbs sprinkled throughout the story that leads to the big reveal…

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The author’s website #blogging #amwriting

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

January is a good time to think about your career as an author, even if you must still hold down a full-time job. Authors who want to find readers should have a website and perhaps a little blog. The website is more than just a pain in the neck that you haven’t figured out yet.

blogging memeIt’s a platform where you can advertise your books and discuss your interests, and most importantly, talk about what you are writing.

If cost is a problem, don’t sweat it. WordPress offers free blogs and free theme templates, so with a small amount of effort and a little self-education, you can have a nice-looking website. I began in 2011 with no website skills whatsoever, but I can hold my own now.

I have made a personal commitment to post three times a week on this blog. This allows me to rant about the craft of…

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The Writer’s Contract with Readers

Story Empire

Happy New Year, SE friends! I hope your holidays were perfect in all ways. Since we’re at the beginning of the year, with hopes and dreams running high, I’ve decided to focus on the promises we make to our readers.

In the business world, new beginnings are formalized by contracts. Writers have contracts with publishers, illustrators, promoters, and others. But the most important contract is an assumed one and it’s not legally binding. That contract is with our readers.

Through our book title and cover, as well as the listed genre and blurb, we make a promise to our readers. If we’re faithful to this promise, they know what to expect with just a glimpse.

I’ve a quick example. Here’s an assortment of books from the Story Empire library. Just looking at the covers and reading the titles, don’t we have a sense of the content of the books?

If…

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4 Strategies to Help Writers Focus in a World of Distractions – by Colleen M. Story…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on Writers Helping Writers:

If you want to reach your writing goals this year, you’ve got to get rid of one thing: distractions.

They surround you at every turn, vying for your attention, and every time they succeed, they pull you away from what really matters—your writing.

This year, you don’t have to settle for less than what you want because of distractions. Try these four strategies to improve your focus and make your writing dreams come true.

Continue reading HERE

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