How to Write for Both Genders

It’s shocking, how few articles there are on the topic of writing a book that appeals to both genders. I’m not sure whether that means people don’t know how,  or don’t want their book to appeal to both genders, or think it’s unnecessary because appealing to both genders is easy, or what.

But just in case, I figured I’d give you what I’ve gathered on the topic.

First and foremost (and this may be a controversial statement but bear with me here):

Appeal to men and women shall follow.

You read me right. As I was compiling a list of male-reader advice, I realized exactly how much of it appealed to me as well. Because it was less about adding elements to appeal to men and more about avoiding things that drive men away.

So without further adieu, seven ways to attract male readers (followed by a few tips on how to adjust for females as well).

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Book Review Follow-Up: What writers can learn from Across the Universe.

So today we’re looking at Across the Universe by Beth Revis. The review’s over here. But that post was long enough without this tacked onto the end, so I figured I’d make a new post of it and see how that goes.

Note that in this section, there will very possibly be spoilers, so read at your own risk! 

(Preferably after you read Across the Universe so you know what parts of the book I’m referring to, but I’m sure it’ll make sense either way.)

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How to Break the Rules of Writing (and Get Away With It!)

Well, in light of a frustrating encounter with an invasive computer repairman, I’m feeling very… defiant, today.

So I’m going to help you break the rules. Sound good? I think it does.

Thus far, the most complete list of  rules I’ve found are Superhero Nation’s Five First-Time Novelist’s Mistakes. SN’s writer, B. McKenzie, is actually a very brilliant man besides being an old friend, but as I read these rules he’s laid out I keep finding ways to break them. He’s a pretty good sport, though, so I’m sure he won’t mind.

So… ‘on with it’, am I right?

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Lessons From My WIP, Part 2: Weed out your ‘trophies’.

https://i1.wp.com/www.trophyshopak.com/Trophy%20Image%203.pngMy second segment of Lessons From My WIP is on weeding out your novel’s trophies. Trophies in this case are in the same vein as ‘Author’s Darlings’, but covering a much wider range. And while source after source after source say to kill your darlings, to murder them viciously where they stand, it’s still something that the average novelist struggles with well into publication.

So how do you identify your trophies? And what can you do to prevent the collection of more?

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How Not to Anger Your Reader

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This evening I finished re-reading one of my favorite books, Naughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman. And once again, I found myself confused. ‘I love this book to pieces,’ I told myself. ‘Why is it that I always, always feel so unsatisfied after I read it?’

And then it hit me: After a book that I could really and truly relate to, Blackman ended it in such a way that entirely lost my compassion as a reader.

If you haven’t read the book and don’t want spoilers, stop here! Otherwise, I’ve got an intriguing bit of advice to offer you, so keep on reading.

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8 Crucial Life Skills Every Writer Needs

Hello, everyone! Since Tuesday’s writing advice day (I really should post the schedule somewhere…), I’m bringing you a list that’s been a while in the making.

Everyone knows that in order to publish a book, you need to be able to write, and write well. (Before you point fingers, Twilight was a fluke.) That much is a given, a fact generally understood as obvious. You need to be able to write, read, and edit, at the bare minimum.

But what other skills are necessary to make it as a novelist?

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Lessons From My WIP, Part 1: Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.

Alright, picture this: It’s that fateful day when you sit down with the grand scheme to your current work-in-progress, and you realize, “I’ve got so many awesome things in this story that it’s… actually kind of incoherent.” I think it happens to everyone at least once. It most definitely happened to me.

It seems the next question is, what caused this? And better yet, how do you fix it?

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