OLD POST ALERT! This is an older post and although you might find some useful tips, any technical or publishing information is likely to be out of date. Please click on Start Here on the menu bar above to find links to my most useful articles, videos and podcast. Thanks and happy writing! – Joanna Penn
Roz Morris has written 11 novels as a ghostwriter, including 8 bestsellers, and also writes under her own name. At her site, Nail Your Novel.com, Roz helps writers nail their novels as a freelance editor and also with helpful posts on the craft.
In this podcast, you will learn:
- How it feels to be a ghostwriter. All the positives of writing without the pain of marketing but Roz is branching out under her own name now. How she got started with her writing and began ghostwriting successfully. Roz's own books are like Iain Banks in the early days, like The Crow Road or The Bridge.
- Roz's ghostwritten books have had sales of over 500,000 books and gives us some tips on writing bestsellers. Strictly defined genre that is already bestselling. No arty crossovers if you want big sales. Read a lot in the genre and make sure you give the readers what they are expecting but with a fresh edge. Hit all the points that a reader expects but spin it in your unique way. Make sure you get a good publicity package if you are traditionally published as bestsellers have promotion behind them.
- Bestseller genres would include thriller, chick lit, fantasy, YA vampire and there are sub-categories e.g. cozy mysteries which I discussed with Elizabeth Craig. Other genres like steampunk have their own culture.
- On formulaic writing vs creativity. You need to know the rules of your genre so you can create within these boundaries. (My example was James Rollins whose books I used as a framework)
- Tips for writing your second novel. You know the basics now so it is about expanding on this. You can understand your method of writing better and how to fit the writing into your day. How to analyze and improve work without getting depressed. You'll also need to write more quickly as most second books are due in one year so you need to be more organized. On writing at the same time as well as promoting the last book and keeping people's attention on the books over time.
- How to use the beat sheet to organize and improve your novel's structure. Click here to find more info. Each scene is summarized as it is and also how it should be. This helps with rewriting the book to where it should be. Roz also uses emoticons to judge how the scenes should be affecting the reader and this gives an idea of pacing. It's basically an overview of how the book holds together.
- On how much of ourselves we put into novels. The writer as participant vs the characters in the book and where the line is drawn. How we have to take it further than real life to make a novel interesting but that doesn't mean we are sociopaths! Ian Fleming “I am neither as brave or accomplished as Mr Bond. I'm just the writer.”
- How Nail Your Novel can help people draft, fix and finish novels with confidence. It's a method for writing a book and making the structure work.