Have You Made These Mistakes in Your Novel

The first thing I want you to know is this: The problems you are having with your novel are not unique to you, and I’ve been there myself.

Let me describe your unfinished novel: It’s unfinished. And it’s been unfinished for years. Or maybe, you’re new to writing stories, and you have just started. That’s great! However, your novel still isn’t finished (because you’ve only begun). Maybe, you’ve published several novels and are only wanting to see how someone else does it. Welcome aboard!

However, your current novel is still unfinished. You cannot seem to make headway with the storyline. Your characters are un-relatable to you and therefore will be un-relatable to your readers. Your scenes cannot be pictured and are poorly described.

. . .not having these problems? That’s wonderful! You’re above the average storyteller. However, for most of us (even for professionals), writing stories can be hard. It’s irritating because we know we had the BEST novel idea when we started, but as the story progresses, it doesn’t measure up to our vision. It doesn’t measure up to your vision. You had the best inspired image in your mind, but developing it onto paper can be hard.

The hardest part is merely beginning – every day, sitting down with pen and paper (or a word-processor) and beginning. Re-starting your story at a different point every . . . single . . . day.

This is my end point for today: In order to write your novel, you need to write, even if you feel like you are only restarting your book in a different sentence, a different paragraph, a different chapter. Thus is the difficulty with the first draft. It’s difficult, and that’s OKAY! Your first draft is your “junk draft”. It will not be good. Yet, be satisfied with it. Get through it as quickly as you can. Then, you can revise it. Even professionals don’t like their first draft. Yet, we learn to take some thrills from it. We enjoy writing it even though we know it needs improvement. The principle, though, is to write it. Don’t shelve it! Get it written, and I guarantee you, you’ll want to revise it until you have a finished manuscript.

Need some more free pointers? Read my Writing Methodology Checklist you receive when you fill out the form by clicking the button at the bottom of this post!

Patching up a novel can be difficult. Writing a first draft can be difficult. Developing a story can be difficult. In posts to come, I plan to discuss more about Writing Imagination Academy. Go to my home page to see how much time is left before my next course, and apply today!

Your fellow writer,
Joshua Reynolds

FreeResourcesBanner2

 

Why Unhealthy Reading Results in Unhealthy Life

Remember my ten points of a healthy book? Do you find yourself wishing that more stories followed those points? If so, then you have already realized there is a cost to not reading healthy stories.

The following state describes those who do not care for good storytelling:

1.    Their minds are constantly plagued by stories they find exhausting
2.    Living in these stories harms their family relationships
3.    They find themselves lonely in these stories
4.    The world was a place they remember being nice when they were children, but now, they strangely do not find it so

Unhealthy reading will always result in unhealthy life. More than half the books at your local library deserve to feed a bonfire. Don’t get me wrong! There are plenty of great stories in your library. There are just so many other stories that aren’t good, and their poor storytelling is drowning out the voice of those stories that are good.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. I’ve found a secret to writing books that give the reader imagination, inspiration, and a foundation for wholesome living. Here’s the story: Living in the modern world, I found it difficult to avoid all the draining stories circulating around every possible media venue. Yet, I knew it wasn’t always that way. I started reading some books that were slightly older – books that had stood the test of time – books that are so loved that we call them “classics”. I especially studied classic children stories, which are worth more than many lengthy adult novels. All the best stories that gave me the most imagination and inspiration in this life had one thing in common: They were all wholesome and centered on plotlines that could be believable (pretty much). That’s right. The stories were so imaginative that their plotlines didn’t have to focus on a crutch like brokenness, the turmoil of despair, or even the adrenaline pumping method of space explosions or one long series of fast action scenes. Instead, the stories focused around things that are common in life. The end result was characters you could relate with and trust, relationships that relied upon one another, places you could imagine and try to recreate, and a refreshing night’s sleep where you dream of how you can improve this world to be more like the story you read.

I read these stories . . . and then I wrote them. My stories have begun with The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor, and they are only growing!

If you agree with my ideals, then you will love my authored books The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor – both fictional novels that put to practice these principles. I don’t just theorize! Purchase these books today at Amazon.

Your fellow writer,
Joshua Reynolds

FreeResourcesBanner2

 

Do You Have the Courage to Write an Imaginative Novel?

What I’m about to tell you will take courage to hear, but it will take more courage to act on. Writing a story takes imagination. That’s right – it takes the same imagination that as a child made you superman or a princess.

Do you have problems envisioning the scenes of your story? Are your characters fuzzy faced? Can you not picture exactly what they look like or where they live? Can you not taste what they taste or smell what they smell? If your answer is yes to any of these, then you lack imagination at some level.

Now, don’t worry! All writers lack imagination at some level. It takes time to build imagination up in one’s mind. Yet, one thing is certain: Without imagination, your story will go nowhere.

Picture two stories in your mind:
(1) An author is sitting under a tree in a park on a sunny afternoon with notebook and pen in hand. As he breathes the fresh air, he smells something different under him. It’s the smell of rich dirt. At the moment, he is writing a scene about rain. His main character is out in the mid-afternoon weather, forced to work his occupation in the mud by a sad set of circumstances. Yet, the character starts singing to himself a song to cheer his own spirits. It’s a song about gardening a flower garden. The author looks up for a moment from his work to see the flowers waving in the gentle breeze in a short flower bed across from him. He remembers the taste of herbal tea, planted in a similar bed of earth, and that brings him later to the scene when the main character, late at evening, is sitting back at his home, drying himself from the rainwater and drinking a mug of freshly brewed, still steaming tea.
(2) An author is sitting under a tree in a park on a sunny afternoon with notebook and pen in hand. He, too, is thinking about the fresh air, flowers, and sunlight. Yet, his main character is not present. Instead, his story is far off and un-reaching. His character is supposed to be riding his horse through town on a sunny day, warning the townsmen and women of an imminent danger. Yet, he doesn’t know what the character is smelling or thinking or saying, except that the story outline mentions something about war abroad in Europe.

What is the difference between these two authors, and why is it that the second author, though in the same place as the first, can’t write the scene of his story?

Imagination. Imagination must draw upon the real world, as you saw the first author in my example do. Don’t be misled by the conventional definition of imagination. The Merriam Webster dictionary defines imagination as “the act or power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never before wholly perceived in reality”. I want to focus on the word “wholly” because though imagination is something not wholly perceived, it draws a lot upon that which is wholly perceived.

My point is this: If you are not using your experiences/the world to form your imagination, you will not be able to imagine! So, how do you draw from the world?

Reference images. Look up images that can inspire your scenes. Go places to see them, look them up online, drive to art galleries where you can gain references, draw them yourself if you can, gain them from stories you like (reference images can be words – they don’t have to be pictures). I talk a lot more about reference images in my free video training (click the button at the bottom of this post to receive them!). Yet, sometimes, we need examples. Read this post of mine if you want to know some images I used for my third novel that helped to springboard my imagination.

Your fellow writer,
Joshua Reynolds

P.S. I can give you pointers all the way, but if you need more, I would love to see you inside Writing Imagination Academy. Apply now! Send me an email with a couple paragraphs explaining your story using some information in my free video training, and I’ll get back with you!

FreeResourcesBanner2

 

The Top Ten Points of Healthy Reading

Agree with these points, and you have the same appetite for literature as I do! Apply these points to your life, and you will have a much more imaginative, inspirational, wholesome, and healthy lifestyle. If everyone applied these points to their lives, Social Media would die within a few years. It will anyway. . .though it might take a little longer (a couple generations tops). Don’t understand that statement? Keep reading!

1. A good story has a theme of redemption instead of a theme of despair.
2. A good story doesn’t keep you in suspense on EVERY page. There are places of refuge where the reader’s imagination can fully develop – these places are places the reader will want to re-read the rest of their lives.
3. A good story doesn’t exhaust its readers – it invigorates them in their daily lives.
4. A good story builds strength/resourcefulness on every page and not conflict. There can/should be places of conflict or at least suspense, but they should be balanced with strength.
5. A good story builds new descriptions on every page. If readers are not continually re-brought into the story, they will not be able to fully picture and imagine it for themselves.
6. A good story should be something that can be enjoyed by everyone of all ages even though it might focus on a particular age group. If a story is only enjoyed by a few who grow out of it, then it is not a good story in the slightest.
7. A good story encourages healthy society in some way or another. Literature that does not do so is only used by those who change society for the worse.
8. A good story shows the reader how to live life and not how to escape it.
9. A good story shows that we are not merely individuals but that we belong to a family.
10. A good story encourages virtue and not vice in the reader, and as such its main focus should be on virtue.

So, what did I mean about Social Media? Social media (similar to Hollywood) has not been encouraging these ten points in the stories that it focuses on, and that’s one reason why you won’t find me on SM! For instance, it does not encourage healthy society because it encourages people to become more and more involved with it until your energy is consumed. Did you know that most social media companies hire “attention engineers” who study Los Vegas tactics to make social media more addictive? Want to know more about the ills of social media in today’s society? Watch the below video!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3E7hkPZ-HTk

Your fellow writer,
Joshua Reynolds

P.S. To get you started on a more imaginative, inspirational, and wholesome life, buy my books The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor today!

FreeResourcesBanner2

 

It’s a Shame Your Novel Lies in Tatters, When the Steps are Simple!

“One of the hardest things about being a writer is actually finishing that first draft. We often linger on the details, editing as we go, which in many cases causes us to run out of steam and quit.”~Writer’s Digest

My guess is that for a long time, maybe years, you have thought about writing a novel of some kind. You would not be alone. I spent over six years writing two complete drafts of two different novels and revising them. . .yet this wasn’t enough. The stories were written at a grade-school level at best, and their content was a knockoff from someone else’s stories anyway. The truth was, I didn’t know how to spring board true imagination within me that could be transferred into something on a page.

Do you feel like your story is in the same boat? You’ve struggled with coming up with all the scenes you know you need to imagine. When friends ask you how your story is going, you mumble something about life happening and not having time to write. You keep saying next month, next year, sometime soon, you’ll complete it. Secretly, you know you never will – not if you keep on the same trajectory.

My free Module of training videos you receive when you sign up to my email list (join at the bottom of this post) should put you well on the way to victory! Except. . .not quite.

The problem is that your story that you know you have imagined in your head can’t come down on paper – and when you try to put it on paper, it usually comes out different from your vision.

Don’t worry! I’m here with an answer. All I ask is a few minutes of your time and to ponder a question: Do you want to succeed? Watch the below video over your coffee or tea break (I love tea – drink it nearly every day).

Video: https://youtu.be/RFR2d7JlOmw

Ask yourself: Do you want to succeed at writing? Not ready to make a decision? Still trying to gain all the free material you can? That’s great! Here is a bullet point list on choosing a good writing environment:

1. Think about what sort of environment you were in when you first thought of your story and try to recreate it.
2. What environment do you like reading in? If it’s quiet, write in a quiet place. If it’s loud, write in a loud place. Chances are that your concentration for writing and reading will be the same!
3. Come up with a set of places (no more than five) that you know you have available in your writing time. Trial and error writing in these places to see which works best for you!

Your fellow writer,
Joshua Reynolds

P.S. Here is an article sharing many tips about writing. (Note: The author’s method’s are slightly different than mine at times, yet there is a lot of meat to what he said here.) https://goinswriter.com/tips-writing-book/

FreeResourcesBanner2

 

What Makes a Good Story? Demystified!

Have you ever wondered what makes a good story? When you were a child, why was it that some stories you loved, and other stories you hated. I think that as children, we sometimes can have a much better mind for judging stories than when adults. This is because as children, we are always wanting to go back to the secure world we live in. If we see a scary movie, we want to sleep in our parents bedroom the next night so that we can be reassured of the stable world we live in. If we read or are read an inspiring and imaginative story, we want it to be retold to us over and over again. In this, we could be considered very critical as children.

But, let me say something: As adults, we shouldn’t change our screens for what makes a good story. No, I’m not saying that there won’t be stories we’ll understand or appreciate better as adults. As our minds mature, so should our appreciation for proper storytelling. However, our minds shouldn’t change. They should only mature on what we knew as children.

In other words, the secret ingredients that make a good story for a child ARE THE SAME ingredients for what make a good story as an adult.

So, what are these ingredients?!?

Simply put, these ingredients are the same ingredients that encourage healthy society – that is, stories that build up the reader – stories that the reader can think about any time of day with fondness – stories that give them hope, inspiration, imagination, and wholesomeness.

To be more boiled down than the above: “There is but one good; that is God. Everything else is good when it looks to Him and bad when it turns from Him.” ~C.S. Lewis

Ultimately, good storytelling is that which looks to Him. I think many stories of the past understood this principle better, even if the author wasn’t aware of it, which is why many stories have stood the test of time to be called a classic.

E. Nesbit’s The Railway Children / Five Children and It
Frances Burnett’s The Secret Garden
Kenneth Graham’s The Wind in the Willows
Beatrix Potter’s many short animal stories, including Peter Rabbit
Kate Wiggin’s Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm
Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Mary Dodge’s Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates
Laura Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie

This list can go on and on. . .

Why is it that these stories have stood the test of time? In some way, they all give hope, inspiration, imagination, wholesomeness, outdoors adventures, vivid and wonderful descriptions, a theme of redemption.

Such elements in storytelling are the ingredients to making a good story.

Your fellow writer,
Joshua Reynolds

P.S. As further extrapolation with what I mean by “good storytelling”, check out my authored books The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore! You can find free chapters of them here.

FreeResourcesBanner2

 

Get Rid of Your Boring Novel and Write Something That Exceeds Your Own Imagination

If you suffer from a lack of inspiration… if you cannot seem to get through the first draft of your story… if you are daily frustrated by your writing and your book isn’t measuring up to the way you imagined it to be… if you want your story to be more imaginative, inspirational, and wholesome… then this message is just for you. Here’s why…

In Writing Imagination Academy, I take you through a step by step process on how to write a good novel from beginning to end, and this process works! Not only do I get you past all the levels and layers of writer’s block and how to find your story from inspiration, but I also show you what a truly good novel entails and how to give your story a redeeming theme that will last a lifetime in the hearts of your readers.

And you need to realize, there is a cost to not writing stories with proper imagination…

If You Continue Struggling Through Your Novel With No Sense of Direction, It Just Gets Worse

What most beginner writers do when facing Writer’s Block or a lack of inspiration and imagination is write a page here or there – or even shelve the project for a while. But for most people, none of that works.

  • They drag their first draft out until they finally quit.
  • Their book sounds disjointed because they only write now and then.
  • In the end, their story doesn’t match up with how they envisioned it and so they are dissatisfied with it.

And what happens if you just do nothing? If you just keep doing what you’ve been doing? Your novel will lie in tatters, and you will be embarrassed to show it to any of your friends. Worse, if you ever do complete your story without realizing what a good novel actually is, you will exhaust your readers, your ratings on Amazon and Goodreads will all be negative, and you will be known as a low-grade author whose books are second or third rate.

How I Teach Writing

I’ve got an answer that works. Here’s the story: After years of writing, I began to realize that the reason why a lot of literature being written today is not long-lasting is because people don’t know how to write a story. They don’t know what good storytelling actually is and what it isn’t. What’s more, those who do know what good storytelling is often can’t seem to plow through the first draft of their story. I, myself, experienced a lot of difficulties getting through the first draft of my second novel, and it lay in tatters for nearly a year before I went back and refined it for publication.

All this led me to a conclusion: People need to be trained in what good storytelling is and how to achieve it. In six constructed modules of Writing Imagination Academy, I lead you from conceptualizing your story through your own inspiration to a finished manuscript that is ready for publication. You’re in the driver’s seat! I’m just sitting in the passenger seat navigating you to your own destination. What if you could see your dreams brought down on paper and for a fraction of the cost most book consultants/editors request?

It Worked For These People, And It Will Work For You

Here’s what good storytelling has done for me… It is through storytelling that we perceive much of the world around us – stories that are real as well as stories that aren’t real but that could be real. Understanding what good storytelling is and how to write and think it has helped me immensely in my daily life. Garbage in equals garbage out. In other words, if we put garbage into our minds, then garbage will be the result. It is easy for people to understand this when talking about food. If all a person eats is hamburgers and French fries, then their health will quickly deteriorate. Yet, the same applies with storytelling. If we immerse ourselves in bad stories, then the results will be an unhealthy life. Yet, good stories do the exact opposite! By learning good storytelling, my inspiration for stories has increased, my imagination is no longer something foreboding but is rather something that can easily be shared with others through storytelling, and I have a deeper understanding and appreciation for the wholesomeness that creates healthy society. And it’s not just me. FACT: Those who read wholesome stories are more content in their lives and are more creative in their thinking.

Finally, It’s Your Turn

If you are accepted into Writing Imagination Academy, you’ll get the key to…

 

  • Understanding what good storytelling is.
  • Writing a story from beginning to end that exceeds your expectations.
  • Making writing an enjoyable, inspired, and fun task.
  • Understanding how you gain imagination and inspiration for stories from things around you.

 

Together, we will…

 

  • Explore your imagined and inspired images.
  • Create your outline.
  • Write your first draft.
  • Revise your story.
  • Evaluate one of your chapters.
  • Speak together through coaching calls.

 

That’s right – this is a service that ordinarily would cost thousands of dollars to invest in. I’m giving it to you for a fraction of that amount.

It all comes as part of Writing Imagination Academy that costs a flat fee of $200. You pay this fee after I accept you into the program. If you are accepted, you will receive five extra modules of video training, four coaching calls, and a chapter evaluation of your story. The program takes 8 weeks to complete, and your first draft should be completed by then! The last module deals with how to revise and smooth that draft out into a finished manuscript, and from there, the road consists of merely applying everything you have learned.

The seats are limited! Here’s how to apply. Sign up to my email list using the form on my website www.conservativecornerstones.com. You will receive a free module of video training plus a checklist and free eBook. The checklist gives you the strategy for writing methodology, and it’s an invaluable asset!

Once you’ve watched the video training, send me an email to apply for the Writing Imagination Academy. In that email, describe your idea for a story in a couple paragraphs using a few of the action points from the free video training (you’ll know what they are when you watch the videos!) Don’t worry. The email doesn’t have to be big. All I really want to know is what your story is generally about, a few things the main characters might do, and some idea of your story setting. These ideas don’t have to be too well formulated. The only reason I require this is because there are certain stories that I cannot make fit within my model for what a good story is. However, if you’ve made it this far in this post, then the chances are you will be accepted!

I only allow 50 seats per WIA course. Go to my website www.conservativecornerstones.com to see how many seats are available and when the next Writing Imagination Academy course begins! Application for the course must be completed before the course begins.

 

100% Money Back Guarantee

And you are 100% safe to try this out. That’s all I’m suggesting. Just try it for two weeks to see if it works for you. If it does, you’ll be delighted – and I think that’s exactly what’s about to happen. If for some reason you’re not delighted with Writing Imagination Academy, then just let me know before two weeks of the course are completed – and you get all your money back. No hanging chads. No trickery. And don’t worry! We’ll still be friends, and if you want to register for it at some point in the future, you’ll be able to do so.

It’s Decision Time

You have a choice to make: Do what you’ve been doing (or worse, do nothing at all). You know where that will lead. An unfinished book. Embarrassment. Negative reviews. And dissatisfaction with your own manuscript. Is that really where you want to go? Take a new action, and get a new result. Apply for Writing Imagination Academy. Finally get the story you have imagined in your head to a completed manuscript that will exceed your own expectations.

Which option do you really want for yourself? Here’s what to do now… Sign up to my email list from the form on my website www.conservativecornerstones.com. Watch my free video training, and then send me an email with a couple paragraphs outlining a few things about your book (general plotline, a few things the main characters do, setting, a few action points from the free video training). It doesn’t have to be detailed. I will be sure to get back with you.

And I’m taking all the risk! Once the course begins, you have two weeks to opt-in for your 100% $200 money back guarantee. I hope to see you on the inside!

FreeResourcesBanner2