What is a Prologue and do you need one?

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What is a Prologue and do you need one?

One of the things that you will sometimes see in books is a prologue. But what exactly is this chapter and do you need one? That’s a question that many new authors ask, particularly those who are self-publishing and have to make decisions like that themselves. In this article, we’ll go over exactly what the definition of a prologue is and what things must be included in it, or be true about it, to make it an actual prologue. This way, you do not get it confused with another part of the front matter, which can make your book seem unprofessional to readers in the know. Let’s start with what a prologue actually is.

What is a Prologue?

A prologue is a chapter of a fiction book that is separate from the rest of the story. The prologue usually tells a very different part of the story, and it is often set previous to the actual story that begins on chapter one in the books timeline. The prologue might be written from the perspective of the main character, but it is usually not. In fact, the prologue is sometimes even written from a third-person omniscient point-of-view. It is also sometimes written from the point-of-view of a character that never appears again in the story – or appears much later.

Why Do You Need a Prologue?

There are several reasons that an author might need a prologue. For example, if you are writing a fantasy novel about a teen that goes on a quest to find some kind of magical object, you might include a prologue chapter about how the object was created, how it became hidden, or what happened last time the object was in the wrong hands. The prologue will let you tell that story. However, don’t just include one because you think you have to. The prologue should be vital to the story.

The Facts about Prologues

There are some good reasons to add a prologue, but there are also some reasons that make a prologue a bad idea or unnecessary. For example, if you are creating a prologue just to show off how much you know about your world, you may bore your readers before the story even begins. In addition, if you have an introduction to the story by the author, such as info on where the idea came from or how you created your world and plot, you should put that in an introduction or preface instead.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to publishing fiction, the prologue can be a really great tool that helps you introduce a part of your story that wouldn’t fit in your regular chapters. A prologue can be separate from the rest of the book and allow the reader to get the information they need to start reading. Just make sure that you are putting the prologue in for the right reasons and not just including one for the sake of having it.

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How to Start a Story – Characters First

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Starting a Story with a Character

Another effective method for starting a story is with a main character; this might be the protagonist, but it might just as easily be the antagonist. In either case, starting a story with a character can be a really great way to proceed, because if you create a great character, they will develop the story themselves. Let’s take a look at the process of developing a great character and then using them to inspire a terrific story. This is a step-by-step process that can be broken down into six distinct tasks.

One – Come Up With a Character Name

Before anything else, you should come up with the character name. If you know nothing about your character, then coming up with the name might give you some personality traits or some sort of back story. You can always change the name later if you want.

Two – Imagine That Character’s Ordinary Life

Coming up with a character’s ordinary life will allow you to contrast the events of the story with that life. Think about what they do every day, what they do for work, what their relationships are like and various other ordinary things about them. You have to show their ordinary life to a certain extent in order to contrast the events of the story successfully.

Three – Imagine an Extraordinary Event Changing That Ordinary Life

This ordinary life should be disrupted by some sort of extraordinary event. That’s where good stories are born. Take Harry Potter for example. Harry is a pretty miserable little boy with an ordinary life until a giant comes to tell him that he’s a wizard. Your event to be more mundane, but it should still have the same impact.

Four – Give Them an Extraordinary Obstacle to Overcome

This trigger event should create some sort of extraordinary obstacle to overcome. When this event changes that character’s life, you are not going to have much of a story unless they are trying to overcome something. Overcoming the problem is the basis of plot.

Five – Give Them Motivation to Change & Overcome the Obstacle

In order for a character to realistically want to overcome an obstacle, you have to give them the motivation to do so. In fact, everything should rest upon it. Your character must not be allowed to not take action. If they do not have the motivation to overcome extraordinary obstacles, trying to force them to overcome them will simply ring false.

Six – Throw Every Additional Obstacle into Their Path

If you want to tell a good story, then have them move mountains to overcome that obstacle. In addition, they should grow as a person during the course of overcoming this obstacle and you should throw every additional obstacle into their path during the story so that the odds are completely stacked against them and it looks like they are going to fail until the very last moment when they pull superhuman strength from somewhere and complete their task in the climax.

For more information on starting a story, check out Reedsy

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Common Mistakes Children’s Book Writers Make

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Common Mistakes Children’s Book Writers Make

Whether you are talking about early chapter books, picture books, middle-grade or YA novels, there are some pretty common mistakes that writers make. These are usually restricted to new writers, although they can apply to someone used to writing in the adult genre that has just started writing for children. There are five mistakes that editors see over and over and which can make your book completely non-publishable. Let’s take a look at them.

Trying to Push a Moral Message

One of the most common ways that new authors to the children’s book world make their books unreadable by children is by pushing a moral message. The first thing that you need to understand is that children get moral messages all day from adults. They don’t want to read about them. For another thing, your particular set of morals may not be the same as the morals that their parents are teaching them. Believing that you are right about a certain creed or religion doesn’t give you the right to push those beliefs on other children.

Talking Down to Children

Contrary to popular mythology, children do not need to be talked down to. You do not have to control your vocabulary, unless you have a particularly large one, nor do you have to explain concepts that would be clear to most adults. Children are a lot smarter than many adults give them credit for, and talking down to them in books will make them put the book down faster than anything.

Being Lazy with Character Development

Just because a book is for children does not mean that you can work less on character development. In fact, in some cases you have to work harder for character development. Kids are complex and often going through all sorts of changes and mental states at once. They are always learning new things, changing their minds and discovering new things about themselves. Writing a good character in a children’s book, child or adult, is vital to the success of the story.

Not Putting Enough Emphasis on Plot

Another problem in many first novels for kids is the simplistic plot. Children do not want to simplistic plot, and they especially do not want everything laid out for them on a silver platter. Treat your plot just as seriously as you would if you are writing an adult book, and keep your cards close your chest until the end of the book. Don’t worry about children not understanding it.

Avoiding Adult Themes or Problems

Something else that some new writers of children’s books do is avoid adult themes or problems. Most of the time, these things exist in children’s books. There are certain themes in issues that are more suitable for different age groups. For example, divorce is a perfectly acceptable topic to tackle in a middle grade novel while sex should be something restricted to young adult novels. But don’t avoid these issues altogether because your books will be completely boring and unrealistic.

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How to Create Characters That Leap Off the Page

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How to Create Characters That Leap Off the Page

Every author wants to create characters that leap off the page, but since new writers are not sure how to do that, their characters often fall flat. If you are writing two-dimensional characters, don’t worry because you are not alone. It takes time and experience to get to the point where your writing characters that resonate so much in a reader’s mind that you will start to hear things like they leap off the page. Here are some tips to help you get to that point.

Read, Read, Read!

The first thing that you need to do is make sure that your reading is much as possible. Writing is a unique job in which the first task is to do the thing you love the most more than anything else. If you do not love to read, then you have no business being a writer. If you do love to read, and you want to become a writer, then it should be no problem for you to read as much as possible to learn how to write.

Think about Your Character When You’re Not Writing

Another thing that you can do to make your character leap off the page is to think about him or her when you’re not writing. For example, if you are going to the grocery store, imagine your character besides you and try to decide what they would pick at the grocery store to get themselves a week of groceries. This will help you understand your character better.

Write a Character Backstory

You might also try writing a character back story. Understanding the background of the character and where he or she comes from will go a long way towards making him real in your fiction. If you know a characters background, then you can come up with motivations why he or she acts the way that they do. I character back story may be a little boring at first, but if you really get to know your character, it will be easy to do.

Interview Your Character

Another thing you may want to consider is interviewing your character. Imagine that you are doing an interview for a major TV program, and that your character is a celebrity and everyone wants to know the intimate details. Ask the hard-hitting questions that are going to get the responses that you need billable allow you to understand your character better and portrayed him or her to the world. This will allow you to write your character much better.

Imagine Your Character in Unusual Situations

The last suggestion is to imagine your character in unusual situations. For example, imagine a character in bed with someone they love or are attracted to. I imagine your character in danger or dying. Imagine your character having to kill someone else. These are all situations that will give you insight into your character and help you to write them better in your fictional story or novel.

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10 Copywriting Tips Everyone Should Know

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How to copyright a book - Header

Being a good copywriter involves having a good diction, persuading the client, perfect spelling and grammar, yes, but it’s not all you should know. If this is your profession, you sure want to be the best and stand out over others. There are certain types of methods to optimize much more than the usual of the writings, and certainly, to obtain better results.

To achieve this, not only write, but clearly, concisely and accurately express your thoughts. To help you with this, in this article you will have the 10 tips that every copywriter should know. Let the game begin!

  1. Analyze your audience

If you have in mind to launch a new product through a campaign in blogs, or publications, you must take into account towards which audience or audience is directed. The fact that your product is the best, does not mean that it will sell by itself; first, experiment with using “sweet” or “rude” words, depending on what you want to get.

The human mind is easy to manipulate, and words have great force, so the laws are written, don’t you think? Once you have determined how to attack and to whom you are posting these attacks, a strategy of small clears and forceful paragraphs begins.

  1. Apply professionalism and creativity to your texts

Maintain a level of mixed writing, which allows to know that you have a great handling of the subject; this will give much to think positively on the perspective of your readers. However, at one point in your work, you must leave behind all professionalism or technisism to enter the section of creativity.

What has made the media successful since its inception? Of course, this is the sensationalism and the prominence that they use to broadcast a message. Make yourself feel to the marrow of every audience by using extravagant words and even a personal touch that sets you apart from the rest of the “dry” copywriter

  1. Highlight in bold font the relevant of your text

This rule is basic, and consists in highlighting in bold what matters in full view of the text; how to do it?, well its easy, a very efficient technique is to read two or three times quickly the text, once it is finalized. The words that make the most resonance in your brain as soon as you make that reading are the ones you should be highlighted.

They are usually verbs that describe an important fact in the context of news, publicity or history. So you should not have 30 highlighted words, when really important, is summed up in 6 letters or less.

  1. Use just enough keywords

You should not overload your text with keywords, as this would stun the user and also denote a total despair when wanting to promote your product. Who trusts someone in despair? The answer is this: nobody. If your text instead has the moderate use of the keyword, without repetitions or ambiguities, the public will fall before your feet.

 

  1. Transmit confidence with each written word

The words are in part the transmission of the soul to the outside world; great writers have been able to finish or start wars through a letter. Your duty is to transmit confidence to your audience, so that the product appears to be the most outstanding, perfect unique and particular market.

This is applicable to every field of copywriting, so the product example can be replaced by anything you want to make known. The right words in the right context are your gold tool.

  1. Improvise in every text you can

Improvisation is the most reliable skill of a copywriter has in his power, and if you learn how to use it you already have more than half the land won. If a text is missing something, this “spicy“, it is time to use it.

You can compare different ideas, make use of paraphrasing, or above all, tell your readers personal experiences with a very convincing tone. When it comes to winning the public, this will be great, you will see!

  1. Do not use colors in the texts

The text of a good blog or web with copywriter’s content, in addition to the raw file, should only have two colors: black and white. It’s that simple; if a carnivalesque paragraph is presented to a reader, the confusion will distract you from what you really mean. The simple often generates great results.

  1. Never post news without a reliable source

The news or work of journalism in the world of copywriting, and in general, in the media has a particularity in contrast to the creative texts. This is undoubtedly the use of a source that supports all your work, since this will know that you really have information that is true, real and without any fallacy.

Some of the most outstanding copywriters usually offer up to 3 sources regarding to the content they have published, which has a positive impact on one of the points touched upon: the transmission of trust.

  1. Research the topic before you start writing

When people start reading your work, and they know the subject more than you do, things are already starting to go wrong. Research at least 5 sources on the subject you are going to create, do not start launching baseless claims, and remember this: “Knowledge is Power“, and this, my friend, applies in copywriting.

At this point, if you must be totally drenched in the subject to be written; be a professional, a star of the subject, demonstrates your superiority and achieve to transmit that knowledge in the text.

  1. Uses a consistent level of literature for the general public

If your audience is general, varied, without any specific profile, then you should address to them in the same attitude. Be an assertive editor, don`t use the technisism over your convincing capacity; this point is closely linked to the use of trust and creativity.

You must make everything you write at the level of average understanding, remember that many times your work will be read by elders, children, youth, adults and with a great diversity of gender.

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Is Self Publishing a Book a Good Idea?

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Image result for reedsy self publishing vs traditional

There is a lot of controversy regarding self publishing and traditional publishing. Various people have got their own opinions.

However, if you are still confused about it and is trying to find out if self publishing can be a good idea for you, Chameleon Copywriter is the right place for you.

In this post, I will be stating all the benefits that are connected to self publishing.

Self publishing is considered to be a much better option as it is undoubtedly faster than that of the traditional route. The traditional mode of publishing usually consumes a greater amount of time.

With self publishing, you will be able to get a book into the market in just a month or so, while on the other hand, traditional publishing industry usually consumes a lot of time since it consists of a lot of archaic practices which impede the business processes.

However, with self publishing, you would not require a literary agent. Unlike the traditional publishers who would require the authors to first get hold of a literary agent, which in turn usually adds more effort and takes more time on behalf of the author. It often becomes difficult to land some reputable agent and handover the publishing contract.

This even results in significant delays and takes a lot of time, sometimes even years to get a book published, which you could have otherwise spent in selling your books.

Besides, traditional publishers may ask you to change your book that you may not be willing to do. Therefore, in order to keep things completely under your control, you ought to avail the way of self publishing that makes things the way you have been wanting so far! Thus, definitely, self publishing is a good idea to prevent wasting time and money!

For more information on the costs and processed involved, check out Reedsy’s article on publishing a book

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