How to write the perfect novel (with the help of feedback!)

Learn more about TimSo you’ve written the first chapter of your novel and posted it on ChapterBuzz. Way to go!

Now, what do readers think?

Wait, you say. Isn’t it a little too soon to be asking readers what they think?

Nope! In fact, this is the best time.

Knowing what’s resonating with your readers—and what could use improvement—is critical in these early stages, when your novel is just starting to take shape.

But don’t just take my word for it! I’m always hearing from ChapterBuzz authors about how valuable their feedback has been.

“It was refreshing to receive so much feedback on my work-in-progress that I can’t stop now,” says award-winning Tier IV Rising Star Author Dacia M Arnold. “Thank you for creating this amazing opportunity.”

Asking for feedback opens up a direct line between you and the minds of your readers, so you know what they’re thinking. Chances are they’ll like what you’ve written. But now, they have the chance to ask questions, point out something that didn’t make sense, or maybe even throw in a few ideas. Or just tell you how much they enjoyed reading it.

Sometimes small tweaks are all you need, and other times bigger changes are necessary. For example, maybe there’s a character that readers aren’t quite connecting with, and before long you realize the character is not even essential to the story. This gives you an opportunity to get rid of that character—and tighten up your plot.

If you’re like the rest of us, you’ll find it highly motivating to write a book while surrounded by both writers and non-writers who are eager to help!

Learn more about TimI’m Timothy Pike, creator of ChapterBuzz. Be sure to download my free guide, How to Write the Perfect Novel (With the Help of Feedback!)

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“Sunnyvale” by Barry B. Wright tops this week’s book list

While our latest group of novelists are hard at work writing, critiquing, and revising during the 10K Novel-Building Challenge at ChapterBuzz, this week’s Authors of the Week have emerged.

Check out these works-in-progress…and get involved by reading and letting the writers know what you think!

Sunnyvale
by Barry B. Wright

Tonight, his approach to her bedroom window is stealthier than his previous visits. The community has been alerted to his presence. Though unintended, he had killed. He crouched and scanned his surroundings. Respected in the community, he was above suspicion. But he was driven by his sexual fetish. A branch snapped. He froze. Read it!

It Is Over: A Tribute to Dick Gregory’s Brilliance
by Marcus M. McGrew

Richard Claxton Gregory (1932–2017) was an American comedian, civil rights activist, social critic, writer, conspiracy theorist, entrepreneur, and occasional actor. During the turbulent 1960s, Gregory became a pioneer in stand-up comedy for his “no-holds-barred” sets, in which he mocked bigotry and racism. Read it!

Priestess of the Lost Colony: An Alternate History
by Brandon Pilcher

An alternate-history fantasy tale about ancient Egyptians colonizing Greece during the Bronze Age. The Egyptian priestess Itaweret seeks to liberate what remains of her people after a Greek warlord sacks the colony and drags them off in chains. Read it!

You’ll find these and other great novels taking shape over at ChapterBuzz. Your support and feedback are most welcome!

October is for novel building at ChapterBuzz

Books & Buzz Magazine, September 2019, Volume 2 Issue 1

This is an excerpt from the latest issue of Books & Buzz Magazine:

A Letter from the Editor
by Timothy Pike

During the month of October, many of our new authors will be discovering the key to writing an excellent novel.

What is the key? Feedback.

That’s right: the 10K Novel-Building Challenge kicks off October 1st, and after participants spend the first week writing 10,000 words, they’ll use the next several weeks to read each other’s chapters and share their feedback.

If you’re a writer, join us! It’s truly amazing how much better your novel can be—and how much you can learn—when you huddle up with a group of writers to share your thoughts on each other’s work.

Even if you’re not a writer, you still have a valuable role to play during the Challenge. We’ll have a slew of new novels taking shape, and this is your chance to be the ultimate insider by letting the authors know what you think of their chapters and helping them improve their works-in-progress. If you’re not a member of the ChapterBuzz community, join us today.

And now, let’s take a look at the delectable morsels we have on our plate for this issue:

Author and poet Allison Marie Conway, our Art & Soul columnist, shares a juicy piece this month with her take on what writing is all about. “It’s about the glistening tangerine light glinting down the side of a pink wine bottle,” she writes, “as it sweats from coming right out of the fridge onto the back patio in the balmy air.” Find out why she thinks writing is about much more than just writing—it’s about coming undone.

Author Tiffany S. Doran dishes out more of her signature encouragement, and talks about her recent (literal) “challenge accepted” moment. So excited was she to join our 10K Novel Building Challenge in October that she signed up right away. But then she thought about how busy her life was, and was struck with doubt—that is, until she discovered that she could make the time. Her message for the busy writer is simple: just when you think you can’t, you actually can.

Next, award-winning author Shirley Holder Platt gives us some tips for writing a novel in three acts. “After you get story structure, and the idea of the three-act story,” she writes, “you’ll see it in everything you read and watch.” You can’t go wrong, Shirley insists, when you use the three-act method to keep your readers turning pages—and in her article this month, she reveals her formula.

Speaking of story structure, on the cover of this issue is author and editor Jennifer Silva Redmond, whose expertise lies in helping writers find the weak points in their story arcs. “Anyone can tell you that you have misspelled words,” Jennifer says, “but few can tell you why your book’s ‘second act’ isn’t working.” From the sailboat she lives and works on, Jennifer tells us all about how she got started in editing, why you don’t need to be a great writer if you’ve got a great story, and why she can’t say where her adventurous editing career is heading next.

It’s going to be a busy month around here! I hope you can find a few moments of peace and quiet—and a cozy nook to curl up in—to enjoy this month’s issue of Books & Buzz Magazine.

Happy reading,

Timothy Pike
Editor-in-chief, Books & Buzz Magazine

…and they’re off! Thousands of words are being written as we speak

Learn more about Tim

It kicked off yesterday!

Participants in the 10K Novel-Building Challenge sprinted off the starting line yesterday in a mad dash to write 10,000 words in the first week of October.

And the word counts are pouring in:

Author Steven SmithTier IV Newcomer Author Steven Smith wrote 2,306 words yesterday for his novel, Assassinato Selva: (Murder Jungle).

Bio: UK Self-published author of on-going ‘Dragon’s Reclaim’ series. Detective Thriller Edgehaven is my latest self-published work. Check out his page

Author Cynthia A. JensenTier II Rising Star Author Cynthia A. Jensen wrote 1,550 words yesterday for her work-in-progress, Starrbodies.

Bio: If I could just get past the first page, i think I might actually become an author! Check it out

Author Barry B. WrightTier III Rising Star Author Barry B. Wright has written over 2,000 words since yesterday for his novel-in-progress, Sunnyvale.

Barry is the author of several mystery, thriller, and literary fiction novels on ChapterBuzz. Check them out

Writers, it’s only Day 2 of the Challenge, care to join us?

Last chance! The 10K Novel-Building Challenge starts tomorrow

Learn more about TimWriters, today is the last day to sign up for the 10K Novel-Building Challenge before it kicks off tomorrow.

At the stroke of midnight, we’re off!

In a race to finish 10,000 words by the end of the first week of October, writers from all over the world will begin hurriedly typing, scribbling, or scrawling—whatever they have to do to churn out at least 1,500 words a day for a whole week.

If you haven’t entered yet, join us now, and get ready for a whole month of writing, feedback sharing & discussions, and of course, networking with your fellow writers!

Take a huge step toward finishing your book and starting a full-time writing career.

And…make your novel as awesome as you know it can be! Enter the Challenge

It’s YOUR writing career…go after it!

Learn more about TimThe big day draws near!

On Tuesday, October 1st (just a few short days from now), the 10K Novel-Building Challenge starts, and all we’re missing is you!

Give your writing career a jump start by joining us for a month of novel building: you’ll write 10,000 words in the first week, get feedback on your work, connect with readers and other writers, and possibly even win an award for your work-in-progress.

Enter the Challenge today. Can’t wait to see you on Tuesday!

The power of dedicating one month to your writing

Learn more about TimJust a few short days left to join us!

The 10K Novel-Building Challenge is starting soon, and we’d love to see you there.

October is your month to get a running start on your novel—at least 10,000 words—and fine tune it with the help of feedback from our community of writers and readers.

And…you could even win an award at the end of the month!

How would it feel to win an award for your writing? As author Bexx Matthews put it: “The morning I opened the email informing me The Girl with White Hair had won an award, I was half asleep and squinting to read the screen. There was this pause where I processed it, followed by the biggest flood of relief and sense of achievement.”

Ready for a life-changing, career-building month? Enter the Challenge now

But hurry, registration ends soon!