Are our storytelling tenses getting too tense? YOU decide!

Have you been reading a lot of books during coronavirus lockdown? I have – my particular favourite genre (not exactly intellectual but provides what I need as a light-hearted break…) crime and psychological crime fiction. Yum, yum.

The current fashion in high-anxiety fiction like this is to tell it in the present tense…presumably to increase the dramatic speed.

Fine for a film or TV synopsis. But a whole, 80,000 words or longer novel?

I suppose this should be OK with me, largely because I spent years working with film and TV synopses in which it’s customary to describe the main action in the present tense, using the past and other tenses to suggest action movements in the story other than what’s happening right now.

But do I have enough lung power to keep up with the breathless pace of present tense narrative in these best-selling contemporary fiction hits that fester within my Kindle? [Read more…]

Why you’ll never need me to help you write a book

It’s no longer a twinkle in my eye. No longer a metre-high pile of scribbled notes.
The sequel to my Amazon bestseller How To Write Winning Nonfiction … a complete new self-coaching book, not just an update.

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I must be out of my mind.

On Amazon pre-order soon:
The ultimate book on how to write a book.

36 books’ worth of my writing experience
35 years’ worth of my marketing experience
To be published by BetterBooksMedia

With this book, you won’t need me.

Contains everything you need to make
your nonfiction book a successful reality.

Want to reserve your copy now?
Drop me a note on suze@suzanstmaur.com

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Here’s what the beta readers have to say about it

[Read more…]

How have we become so selfish? An 18-year-old writes about coronavirus

by James Tierney

Please welcome James Tierney, 18, a highly talented young writer who hopes to make writing his career. His current projects include excellent fiction for children and young adults: this time, however, I asked him to share his nonfiction thoughts on the coronavirus pandemic from the point of view of a teenager in the UK. Over to James…Sz.

Now can you see the benefits of being tech-savvy, as we young people are?

At first, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. It is like something you see in the movies.

Some sort of disease and no one is allowed to go out.

However, as the days have gone by the realisation has hit home. At first, they were saying it was only the elderly that were affected. As time has gone on, I have heard more cases of people around my age, or even younger, getting it and dying from it.

I think the worst of these was the 13-year-old boy who died from the coronavirus. [Read more…]

At last, my new baby’s here – to get your book out there!

Welcome to How To Write Better’s (HTWB’s) bouncy, bolshie young sibling … Better Books Media™ (BBM)! This is the new home for everything you need to get you started with a book or book-related project – even if you’ve never written a book or eBook before.

Like many youngsters BBM is still living at home with a parent (HTWB) but will have its own site one day when it’s earning decent money and has learned how to do its own laundry. In the meantime here’s how its concept can achieve what many more stuffy publishing services would say is impossible: it’s a blend of literary agency, author coaching, and a publishing service.  Eat your heart out, traditional publishing thinkers.better books media
Better Books Media™ is a wholly owned imprint and brand belonging to me, Suzan St Maur. For now it is delivering my own books – and of course my self-publishing clients are welcome to have their books published under this imprint if they wish, too. In fact two such clients already have joined me as BBM authors.

It is also delivering my very special, bespoke author coaching and publishing advice via my own experience and skillset, and that of my brilliant, hand-picked virtual team of nonfiction and fiction editors, book producers, book designers, illustrators, audio recordists, and more.

My business model is simple … [Read more…]

World Book Day: yes, YOU could write a nonfiction book

Is it your dream to write your story to share with the world? Do you have a precious fund of knowledge that readers will find invaluable? If you’ve been through some difficult times, will a book about your experiences help others in the same circumstances?

Woman writing

Don’t forget that whatever you want your book to achieve, it has to be good.

New tech and new business models: making the dream come true

[Read more…]

How Thanksgiving reminds the world about gratitude

Particularly in Canada, the USA and to a lesser extent Mexico, families share this day of gratitude for a good harvest and year. It’s a long-standing tradition going back hundreds of years and has become as comfortable and well-loved part of life as a pair of cozy slippers.

Our Canadian Thanksgiving dinner this year (second Monday of October) … in Leicestershire, England

Today, however, it’s interesting to see how much the element of gratitude is taking hold within the context of positive psychology, influencing mindfulness and other techniques and therapies to help us cope with modern life. Is that really what we need? [Read more…]

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