Follow my journey toward publication. Laugh, cry, point and stare-- it's all good. I'll leave a trail so that you, my fellow author, may have a straighter path to finding your own elusive publishing contract. Adventure awaits. Let's travel together...

Friday, April 8, 2011

5 Writing Lessons Learned From Coffee

How can a good book be like a cup 'o joe, you ask? The answer is in your mug, young grasshopper...

1) Rich
Details add color to your story-world and make it rich. Don't settle for flat secondary characters or nondescript settings. Even place-holding personalities can be witty and engaging. And giving realistic background to your plot will leave your reader feeling like they've really been there and wanting to return long after they finish the read.

2) Relaxing
Don't make your readers work to make sense of your novel. Learn grammar and punctuation rules, don't give your characters similar-sounding names, don't head-hop, to name a just a few things that can confuse and overwhelm your audience.

3) Dark
A good book will have moments of darkness. The darker the low points of your character, the brighter and higher the emotional payoff will be when they triumph. Don't be afraid to torture your characters. The reader's relief when the suffering finally breaks will be all the sweeter for it.

4) Energizing
I'm awake!
Don't let your readers fall asleep. Your book should wake up their emotions and keep them up late into the night. Nail your openings: First line, first paragraph, first chapter. Make sure every chapter begins with a new hook and ends with tension. And of course, make sure your plot is riveting, your dialogue sparkling.

5) Good to the last drop
Keep your readers turning pages and make them mourn the words The End. Flesh out your characters till they become real, throw them into conflict the reader is dying to see them through, and find that perfect ending that satisfies yet leaves them craving more.

And that is how you can apply the principals of your java to your novel.
Happy brewing!

**Drawing winner will be chosen later this afternoon.  And on Monday you'll be meeting my crazy friend Jessica Patch.  Hope to see you soon!


Jill said...

Ha! You forgot about the kind of coffee w/ cream added. What kind of novel is that? Maybe that adds to the richness. Some like it black, others w/ cream--I like my coffee either way. :)

Jessica R. Patch said...

Cream, Jill, is a yummy twist!! LOL
Michelle, super great post! Creative and interesting just like you. ;)

Becky Avella said...

As an absolute coffee addict, I loved this analogy! : ) The "Dark" section made me think. Great insight!

Michelle Massaro said...

Thanks guys--I had fun with this. I use cream too and was going to use it to talk about adding "flavor" but then it seemed too similar to "rich". However, now I think I should have compared it to having a spiritual message! Argh! (adds "light", Christ's love bringing light and sweetness to a dark and bitter life). lol If I ever do a repost of this, I'm gonna add it for sure!

Anonymous said...

I only drink coffee if there's chocolate involved in some way . . . and in a book, that might translate as a touch of romance.