Creating a Tantalizing Book Title

vintage ceremonyYou know that saying, “It’s all in a name”? It’s true for book titles. You’ll come up with a story line and then . . . a great title. Or, perhaps you have a title that pops into your head, and the story follows. For me, the story line always comes first. My novel’s title may miraculously appear early on in my writing, say Chapter 1 or 2 but more often I’ll finally decide on a title halfway through. Arriving at your book’s title is one thing—whether it’s a catchy, memorable one is another story.

Book titles are important—artistically and commercially. A good title resonates with a reader and will, according to publishers, help sell your book. Below, I’ve itemized 5 ways to help you create that magnificent moniker.

Alliteration. When we view a book’s title, we tend to read it silently, phonetically playing with the words. Double consonants resonate…

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The danger of self doubt

Good morning everyone. I’m so glad you stopped by.

This week I have been wracking my brain trying to figure out what to write for my turn on the blog. And to tell the truth, I had absolutely no idea.

question marks

And until just now, I still didn’t know. But then as I tried to start my newest book over (I had lost all of my chapters due to a technical/equipment issue), I suddenly knew what I was going to write about.

No, not about lost work although it’s terrible and unfortunate thing. Anyone that has had this happen to them knows the pain and frustration this can bring. And for anyone that hasn’t experienced it, count yourself lucky because it is a horrible thing to endure as an author.

This time, as the above title suggests, is about self doubt. You know what I’m talking about right?

self doubt

The feeling that…

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This Year is Yours

Joanne Guidoccio

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

At the beginning of each new year, I reread the following poem for inspiration:

God built and launched this year for you;
Upon the bridge you stand;
It’s your ship, aye, your own ship,
And you are in command.

Just what the twelve months’ trip will do
Rests wholly, solely, friend, with you.

Your logbook kept from day to day
My friend, what will it show?
Have you on your appointed way
Made progress, yes or no?

The log will tell, like guiding star,
The sort of captain that you are.

For weal or woe this year is yours;
Your ship is on life’s sea
Your acts, as captain, must decide
Whichever…

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A Writer’s Prayer

Joanne Guidoccio

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

Two years ago, I participated in a series of Artist’s Way workshops facilitated by Lisa Browning of One Thousand Trees. During one of those sessions, I encountered an interesting task: Create an artist’s prayer. While reflecting and researching, I discovered the following Writer’s Prayer written by Sandy Tritt:

Open my mind, Lord. Grant me the talent to write with clarity and style, so my words go down rich and smooth, like fine wine, and leave my reader thirsty for more.

Open my heart, Lord. Grant me the sensitivity to understand my characters–their hopes, their wants, their dreams–and help me to confer that empathy to my reader.

Open my soul, Lord, so I…

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The Six Ds of Dialogue by C.D. Hersh

Dialogue is paramount in any story. Dialogue is the backbone of stage plays and screenplays, and is what actors memorize. Dialogue is the hinge pin of novels, especially in today’s fast-paced, want-the-story-to move-forward world. Yet, for many writers dialogue is the hardest thing to write. We can fill pages upon pages with purple prose, narrative, and information dumps, but often avoid dialogue.

Why? Maybe we’re afraid our characters will sound stupid, or their words will be stilted. Perhaps writers fear their characters will sound flat, or they will say too much or too little.

Or maybe we think our characters will sound the same, because, after all, it’s only one person creating all those different voices.

Personally, we find ourselves writing dialogue first then going back and filling in the narrative, the senses and other parts of the story. Maybe that’s because of our acting or playwriting background. Sometimes we…

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My Writer’s Toolbox

Joanne Guidoccio

Welcome to the G.O.T.H. Series!

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

Thirty-one years of teaching adolescents thickened my skin considerably, but I faced different challenges when I embarked on a writing career. I had to learn how to deal effectively with rejection letters from agents and publishers, critiques from editors, and less-than-favorable reader reviews. Most important of all, I had to acquire that coveted rhino skin. Here are five strategies in my writer’s toolbox:

Get the Back Story

Whenever I attend readings, I pay special attention to the author’s back story. I like hearing the details about his or her writing journey and the challenges encountered along the way. Occasionally, I pick up valuable nuggets of advice that…

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Story Questions

File:Circle-question.svg courtesy of Wikimedia

A while back, my husband and writing partner, the D of C.D. Hersh,  built me a new cabinet pantry. We spent the better part of an afternoon talking about the size and construction of the pantry to make sure it was exactly like I wanted it. Afterwards, he went to Home Depot to get the lumber.

While holding the front door open so he could carry the lumber in I noticed the first piece was shorter than I thought it should be. When I commented, he answered as he went back out the door saying, “Didn’t you want it counter height?”

No, I thought as I closed the door behind him. I don’t. Didn’t he remember what we’d discussed? I peeked through the side window curtain anxiously wondering what he’d bring in next.

The next piece was short, too, and I became concerned. He laid the…

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