Reposting Royalene Doyle’s Conversation on FEED MIND, IMAGINATION, AND SPIRIT

There are few things in my life as special as walking the aisles of my local library. This is where book scents and muffled conversations create an environment that feeds my imagination and prepares my mind to function at peak performance. Here are the comfy chairs where I open book after book to explore research topics that support my clients—and my own writing projects. This is where I enjoy the unique whispered quiet that lifts my writer’s spirit and encourages me to get the job done—despite the tumult that circles the globe.

A Journey to Manhood
The Village t

Today, I focus on feeding the writers’ minds through reading nonfiction. I’m not talking about the chemistry or political science textbooks of the university kind, although they can be an excellent resource for mystery and science fiction writers. Today’s topic is the True Story genre—authentically written life events that offer perspectives for me (as a person and writer) and the characters I am developing in my work of fiction.

One such True Story is A JOURNEY TO MANHOOD: The Village that Raised the Boy by Ty Burton. This is Mr. Burton’s first book, written with passion, and acknowledges the value of teachers, coaches, mentors, and friends who step up to make a difference in someone else’s life. It lets readers understand “the high stakes that hang in the balance of every action we take.” Mr. Burton holds dual master’s degrees in Administration of Justice and Human Resource Development. Although he did the university work to obtain these degrees, reading his book reveals that much of his education came much earlier in life.


The second book I’ll mention is 17 HOURS: Tracking Down Our Runaway. This True Story is getting a lot of attention because of the “imminent threat” all young women must be aware of in the world we live in today. As the book cover states, “No family is immune to the dangers of sex trafficking.” The author, Diane Bassett, is one of many moms whose beautiful daughter had been drawn into a dark world operating in local parks, a world that pushes naive girls into such no-win positions. Bassett’s story details their 17-hour journey to save their daughter’s life. The book also places a Tip Guide in the hands of every reader with resources that will help locate a runaway child.

This nonfiction genre of True Stories holds many teachable moments for writers of every genre. Here are the key concepts I believe help us improve our skills as well as reader appreciation:

  • Before sitting down to write, prepare your mind to function at peak performance. If you need to set up your personal writing station in the library—or close your office door and relax with a cup of morning tea or coffee—then do it.
  • Write the story and the characters (real or imagined) with passion. Let the world hear their voices and feel their experiences as if you and each reader were experiencing them.
  • Keep your project (chapters) balanced. Nonfiction, real-life stories can be intense. Our reading audience today lives pretty intense lives themselves. However, learning about others who have survived is a valuable tool to encourage us all. So, balance the heart-pounding moments with lighter events—tender moments with family and friends—a pillow fight with other children, etc.
  • A major aspect of real-life stories is exposing the “imminent threats” that could very quickly impact our lives. These books can—and do—make a real difference, especially when helpful resource information is also provided. Keep a list as you do your research and consider adding it to the back of your book.

The last checkmark on this list is to GET THE JOB DONE! Your nonfiction, real-life True Stories need to be on library bookshelves, in bookstores, and online! This genre is a big part of what inspires future generations to step up and make their own “difference” in the world. So, don’t give up! Complete your book! Get it PUBLISHED!

ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. She developed these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, has received excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.

Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena. December 2017 marked the end of Royalene’s tenure at Self Publishing Advisor. and we will be spending the next few weeks celebrating some of her all-time hits, her most well-received articles for our blog, in thanks for years of generous service.

Reposting Royalene Doyle’s Conversation on: INTRIGUE Plus SUSPENSE Plus MYSTERY

Just yesterday, I heard a word I hadn’t heard or seen used for years. The word is Brinkmanship.

My definition for it (from the creative writing perspective) is “to bring Readers to the BRINK of solving the mystery, then strategically pulling them away from that answer, only to maneuver them onto another path.” When writers hone this skill, they produce wonderful adventures that not only challenge our logical thinking abilities but also satisfy the soul. Much like the tapestry illustration shown here, the various color hues (characters) and textures (plot/angles) intrigue us and bring us joy.

Agatha Christie is one of the best and most-read novelists. She instinctively knew how to weave the threads of Intrigue, Suspense, and Mystery into puzzle patterns creating beautiful whodunits that tantalize, frustrate, and bring us to the brink of giving up before they allow us to discover the truth. Here are some of the techniques she used.

Clues: A spot of blue ink is found under the desk. Ah! A clue! Clues provide information to one or more characters and to the Reader. These include tangible objects such as the blue ink pen found on the suspect’s desk, fingerprints, or a letter clenched in the victim’s hand. And, as in real life, other objects might be collected but have nothing to do with the mystery, which become false clues leading our characters (and Readers) to wrong conclusions—for a short time, that is.

Red Herrings: The technique that uses an event or statement to overtly mislead characters (and Readers). However, this allows everyone to deduce (logically) whether this piece of information is relevant to the story. These red herrings keep Readers from figuring out what’s really going on sooner than outlined.

The Suspects: Because I enjoy the complexities of well-developed characters, this is my favorite part of any novel, especially the Mystery. From the tailor to the butler, the undercover police officer to the priest, and the chef to the hobo—almost every character in the book could have a reason to be suspected, even though just slightly.

Disguises: These can also add elements of intrigue and suspense to both characters and the settings (atmosphere/environment) in which we place them. This is a camouflage of either people or places that gives our Readers pause to consider another possible (logical) course in the storyline and keeps those pages turning.

Successful authors who employ these techniques—no matter the genre—often use opening sentences that incorporate several points. Here is an example of the first sentence in a novel that does just that.

“When the car stopped rolling, Parker kicked out the windshield and crawled through onto the wrinkled hood, Glock first.” Richard Stark, Backflash

Immediately, the Reader is presented with several clues, a character/suspect with enough strength to crawl out of a wrecked car with a gun in his hand. When writing skills are honed to create opening sentences like this, publishing success is right around the corner!

ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. She developed these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, has received excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.

Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena. December 2017 marked the end of Royalene’s tenure at Self Publishing Advisor. and we will be spending the next few weeks celebrating some of her all-time hits, her most well-received articles for our blog, in thanks for years of generous service.

Conversations : The Best of Royalene Doyle (part 9)

Celebrating the Best of Royalene Doyle

and her fantastic Conversations

farewell goodbye waving

We’ve spent several weeks now examining some of Royalene’s banner series for Self Publishing Advisor. But what about standalone posts? Do any leap out at us?

Why yes, yes they do. And the first such post we’d like to mention today is one in which Royalene admonishes us to feed our minds, bodies, spirits … and imagination! The reminder to do so is an important one, as we’re all prone to privileging certain notions of productivity–or quantity, or speed–over the quality of the finished product. And ultimately, as Royalene reminds us constantly, writing is about savoring the experience of life. This post really sinks its teeth into some of the ways we can get started doing just that! This post is absolutely worth coming back to, time and again!

When we think of relaxation, we often think of a welcoming armchair and a mug of hot coffee, tea, cider, or something along those lines. And with all the wisdom of decades of experience, Royalene uses this post from April of last year to re-center us all on the virtues and value of contemplation, of relaxing into the reflective mindset when it comes to re-envisioning our work. (And working out its flaws.) There’s a reason why the path to success looks different for every person, of course, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to any thorny issue in the craft of writing. But we’ll all get just a little bit closer, Royalene suggests, if we take a moment to step back. And consider. We simply love this post, and find it a useful reminder on our busiest weeks that sometimes … the most productive thing we can do is slow down.

And in this, our last featured post for the week, we wanted to point our readers back to Royalene’s “Coffee and Mulled Cider” celebration from September of last year, in which she explored ways in which to “mull over” your book and emerge from the process with an even stronger, more powerfully compelling, book. A hint? The sense play a role, as does C.S.I.

No, not the now-defunct television show–the systematic examination of the details in order to construct a working hypothesis of why some things are working and some things aren’t! Royalene also taps into the wisdom of opportunities, and on the stick-to-it-ness which is often required to make a success of the things we really love.

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That’s all for this week! We’ll be back next Friday as we detail more of Royelene’s greatest hits, as determined by our blog’s analytics. You can follow Royalene’s further adventures by checking out her Twitter feed (her handle is @RoyaleneD) or her website at www.DoyleWritingServices.com. We miss you, Royalene! ⚓︎


Royalene

ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. She developed these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, has received excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.
Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena. December 2017 marked the end of Royalene’s tenure at Self Publishing Advisor. and we will be spending the next few weeks celebrating some of her all-time hits, her most well-received articles for our blog, in thanks for years of generous service.

Conversations : The Best of Royalene Doyle (part 8)

Celebrating the Best of Royalene Doyle

and her fantastic Conversations

farewell goodbye waving

The “Trees” Series

Last week, we examined one of Royalene’s all-time best series–on connecting with experts–and this week we’re back with another one of her banner collections. This time, the subject is … wait, what? Trees?

Ah, but you see, Royalene had a way with metaphor, and a personal dedication to craft which focused on growth and opportunity, rather than all of the negatives and trials and hardships which might plague lesser humans (and let’s face it, we all live in fear of Writer’s Block … except for, magically, Royalene!). When it comes to envisioning a metaphorical framework for the discussion of growth, what better image could there be than a tree?

In this, the first entry in this series, Royalene starts with the beginning–and by that, we mean the beginning of every project. What is its seed? How does it germinate? How can an author plant and then successfully cultivate a new work? As always, Royalene is not just ferociously positive, but also thoroughly practical, and here she provides several tips and tricks for getting started.

In this, the second installment in the series, Royalene continues to track the progress of a work from seed to harvest, with a special emphasis on growth patterns. How do we measure the progress of a work? And how do we survive both the rainy and the dry seasons when it comes to our writing?

If you never expected to discuss tree life expectancy as a parallel to your work on your next book, well, that makes all of us. But as unexpected as this framework for discussion is, it’s also thoroughly brilliant! Royalene’s advice? “Research the details.” And of course, she provides a checklist for doing just that.

What happens when character development and plot lines intersect? Well, several things can happen, some of them good, and some of them challenging. Not every intersection may prove a fruitful one for your particular work, and Royalene has some thoughts on how to parse and structure your book so that this intersection is a real, organic, and powerful space for development and beauty.

Last but not least, Royalene wraps up her series with a reflection on the nature of perspective. Trees, the central metaphor of this series, happen to have rather a lot, and to provide a convenient imagistic parallel as you wrap up the creation of your next book. For Royalene, as with many others, trees provide or provoke an intense emotional reaction. They’re the locus point of a number of different thought processes. And they’re real and physical objects which exist outside of our conversations about metaphor! When it comes to the insights which this seemingly–perhaps deceptively–simple image can provide, trees will always have a lot to offer. Many thanks to Royalene for teasing out such a fine and robust line of reasoning!

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That’s all for this week! We’ll be back next Friday as we detail more of Royelene’s greatest hits, as determined by our blog’s analytics. You can follow Royalene’s further adventures by checking out her Twitter feed (her handle is @RoyaleneD) or her website at www.DoyleWritingServices.com. We miss you, Royalene! ⚓︎


Royalene

ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. She developed these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, has received excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.
Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena. December 2017 marked the end of Royalene’s tenure at Self Publishing Advisor. and we will be spending the next few weeks celebrating some of her all-time hits, her most well-received articles for our blog, in thanks for years of generous service.

Conversations : The Best of Royalene Doyle (part 7)

Celebrating the Best of Royalene Doyle

and her fantastic Conversations

farewell goodbye waving

The “Connecting With Experts” Series

Those of us who’ve spent much time in the world of self-publishing will understand instinctively just how difficult it can be to scrape by unassisted. The same is true for many of those who publish traditionally, of course, and who find themselves neglected by publishing houses who tend to focus on their blockbuster successes and not their struggling midlisters. No matter whether you’ve pursued a traditional or a self-publishing path in the past, this series by Royalene may prove revolutionary as you set out to publish your next book!

Here, in her first post for the series, Royalene examines the topic of Ghostwriters and other assistants to the writing process, including Editors and Coaches. As Royalene goes on to explain, plenty of people have great ideas for books, but not everyone has the desire or the confidence to write it alone. For those people, there are experts ready and eager to help–and they can mean the difference between no book and a beautifully-written, finished manuscript ready to publish! How do you know if you’re ready for an editor, a ghostwriter, or some other form of writing assistance? Royalene walks us through some of her own story and some of her own past partnerships as she explains just what makes for the ideal writing relationship.

In this, the second post in her series, Royalene takes a look at Publishing Consultants. When do you need them, and what do they do? Royalene goes on to share some of her own publishing story, a story which showed her she needed “a personal guide who would explain all the publishing options (services) their company offered—someone who would hear what I told them about my book and the audience it could reach—and then help me select the perfect combination of services to achiever my publishing goals.” That person, as it turns out, was a Publishing Consultant (in her case, someone at Outskirts Press)! But this is only the first post in her series ….

In her third post in this series, Royalene zoomed in on Book Cover Designers, those intrepid few who know how and why certain covers make us tick, and how to make more covers which both reach their readers and reflect the content, spirit, and the individual needs of both book and author. That’s a lot of work! And it requires a great deal of skill, skill which truthfully often deserves compensation. A good book cover can be the difference between poor and good book sales, and Royalene walks us through why that’s the case.

Last but certainly not least, Royalene dug into the thorniest of all issues in which writers often require assistance–marketing. How will you know you need help? Well, sales figures have something to do with it. But so too will your own desires and attitudes, and here as always Royalene demonstrates that she truly understood the needs and hopes of those many authors she has walked through the publication process. Marketing is hard, and knowing when and how and who to reach out to for help is even harder. Luckily, we have Royalene’s words to guide us, and in this closing installment of this particular chapter of her writings, we may have one of the most useful guides to seeking marketing assistance out there.

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That’s all for this week! We’ll be back next Friday as we detail more of Royelene’s greatest hits, as determined by our blog’s analytics. You can follow Royalene’s further adventures by checking out her Twitter feed (her handle is @RoyaleneD) or her website at www.DoyleWritingServices.com. We miss you, Royalene! ⚓︎


Royalene

ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. She developed these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, has received excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.
Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena. December 2017 marked the end of Royalene’s tenure at Self Publishing Advisor. and we will be spending the next few weeks celebrating some of her all-time hits, her most well-received articles for our blog, in thanks for years of generous service.