Books have changed forever, and that’s good. Writers will find readers and make more money going it alone, like me.
I saw the trailer for the film adaption of this book and originally ignored it. But the trailer would play incessantly during the commercial breaks as I was watching shows on Hulu. Eventually, the suspense got to me so I was like, “What the hay… it’s only 8 bucks.” I was a little embarrassed that I got this book because I don’t go for romance novels, but Safe Haven was astounding.
Safe Haven begins with a young woman named Katie who works at a diner and lives by herself. She keeps to herself because she’s carrying a secret, but then she meets her next door neighbor Jo who helps her to open up and encourages her to pursue interest in the local store owner, Alex, who was recently widowed and has two children. From there a beautiful relationship unfolds. Katie’s mothering nature makes her a natural with his kid’s and Alex’s protective nature makes him want to take care of Katie. Soon Katie’s past starts to catch up with her and puts everyone she loves in danger.
This was an unexpectedly excellent read. It wasn’t superficial, lovey-dovey fluff. The characters are deep, you see their flaws, and the conflicts are believable. Without giving the plot away, Safe Haven was certainly an eye-opener with a psychological twist. I’m glad Nicholas Sparks wrote this book. The ending was unexpected and I have no idea if I believe that aspect of the story. My only disappointment was that I didn’t get to see how Katie’s and Alex’s relationship grew or how the children adjusted after everything or that I wasn’t able to see more of Alex’s reaction to crucial events. My last remaining question is why Alex was reckless when it came to his children knowing Katie’s past. Aside from that, I was unexpectedly shocked and pleased with this novel.
Lukewarm coffee tastes like a post-apocalyptic world to me…
Whether you blog for fun or write novels, it’s essential for you to know the writing voice that is uniquely you. If you struggle with retaining readers or with being consistent in your writing, you…
An exercise for finding your voice
Not sure where to start? No problem. Most of us need help understanding our voice. Here’s a short exercise that can help you — just follow these 10 steps:
- Describe yourself in three adjectives.
Example: snarky, fun, and flirty.
- Ask (and answer) the question: “Is this how I talk?”
- Imagine your ideal reader. Describe him in detail. Then, write to him, and only him.
Example: My ideal reader is smart. He has a sense of humor, a short attention span, and is pretty savvy when it comes to technology and pop culture. He’s sarcastic and fun, but doesn’t like to waste time. And he loves pizza.
- Jot down at least five books, articles, or blogs you like to read. Spend some time examining them. How are they alike? How are they different? What abouthow they’re written intrigues you? Often what we admire is what we aspire to be.
Example: Copyblogger, Chris Brogan, Seth Godin, Ernest Hemingway, and C.S. Lewis. I like these writers, because their writing is intelligent, pithy, and poignant.
- List your favorite artistic and cultural influences. Are you using these as references in your writing, or avoiding them, because you don’t think people would understand them?
Example: I use some of my favorite bands’ music in my writing to teach deeper lessons.
- Ask other people: “What’s my voice? What do I sound like?” Take notes of the answers you get.
- Free-write. Just go nuts. Write in a way that’s most comfortable to you, without editing. Then go back and read it, asking yourself, “Do I publish stuff that sounds like this?”
- Read something you’ve recently written, and honestly ask yourself, “Is this something I would read?” If not, you must change your voice.
- Ask yourself: “Do I enjoy what I’m writing as I’m writing it?” If it feels like work, you may not be writing like yourself. (Caveat: Not every writer loves the act of writing, but it’s at least worth asking.)
- Pay attention to how you’re feeling. How do you feel before publishing?Afraid? Nervous? Worried? Good. You’re on the right track. If you’re completely calm, then you probably aren’t being vulnerable. Try writing something dangerous, something a little more you. Fear can be good. It motivates you to make your writing matter.