Author Resources: Writing Inspiration, Tips, and Tools on Pinterest

If you’re an author wanting writing help, you’ll want to follow my Writing Tips & Skills Pinerest board. Details in this post #WritingTips #WritingSkills #NovelWriting #WritingABook

Looking for writing tips? I have a board called Writing Tips and Tools that's here to help!

If you need help in any of these areas, this is a helpful board to follow:

  • Novel writing
  • Short story writing
  • Character development
  • Plotting
  • Pacing
  • Word choice
  • Setting a scene
  • and more

Please follow my board, because every time I find a great resource, I share it with you

Follow the Writing Tips and Tools Board

Writing Tips & Skills Pinterest Board

Follow your B.L.I.S.S.

Ronda Del Boccio

#1 best selling author, speaker, and Amazon Top Reviewer

About Ronda Del Boccio

Ronda Del Boccio is an award-winning and best Click for Member Home Pageselling author of both fiction and nonfiction. She tells transformational tales and helps visionary authors turn their dreams and imaginings into published books. See and order Ronda's books on Amazon.

Join Ronda's readers for free stories, sneak peeks at her next books and more at WriteOnPUrpose.com/read

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Fiction Writing help: How Do I Write Great Dialogue?

If you get in the way of your characters, they won’t sound and feel like real people. This article gives specific tips for developing a good ear for how people really speak. You also get a sneak peek at my work in progress, THey All Died Smiling #dialogue #WritingSkills

(NOTE: Post updated to add new material to aid with dialogue writing).

I love writing dialogue! The characters speak and I take dictation. At least, that's how it feels to me. Here is a snippet of dialogue from my work in progress, They All Died Smiling. Kassidy, a writer/demon hunter, talks with her friend Floyd:

While finishing an assignment for the paper, I dialed my phone. “Floyd, I’m borrowing your studio for a half hour this afternoon, OK? Thanks. I appreciate it.”

“Uh…you’re welcome. Thanks for asking ahead of time.” I heard the smile in his voice and imagined him brushing a stray lock of blond hair out of those eyes that look like the sea.

“My pleasure. You won’t be in the throes of artistic fervor this afternoon. You will be at the gallery for your viewing.”

“You truly are a mess, Kass. It’s a showing, not a viewing. A viewing is what they do for dead bodies.”

Floyd was a good verbal sparring partner; I let him tease me in honor of our first meeting. I made that faux pas for real when interviewing him for a story about green pottery. Having come right from a wake to the gallery, I accidentally used the wrong word.

“Floyd, just the reception room, not the part full of your cherished creations. And I promise to make it up to you.”

“Ooh, that should be fun. I’ll hold you to it. You owe me big time for using my space.”

“Yes, I do.” My face flushed. “Sell lots of pots.”

“It’s a good thing you put an s on that.”

So many authors I know struggle with dialogue. Maybe I as a blind person have a distinct advantage over you sighted people, because I pay so mush attention to what I hear.

What's at the Root of Dialogue Problems?

My observations tell me that problems with dialogue come from 2 main issues with writing dialogue:

Dialogue Problems

Continue reading "Fiction Writing help: How Do I Write Great Dialogue?"

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7 Keys to Writing a Profitable Book

Want your book to bring you PROFITS?

It's not just about writing a good book. There are 7 key elements in nonfiction, 6 in fiction, you can add to boost your book's profits.

For example, you need to write a page turner, so give the reader a reason to turn the page at the end of each chapter.

"ENd each chapter with a reason to keep reading." -Ronda Del Boccio / Get your FREE mini-course 7 Keys to a Profitable Book at WriteOnPurpose.com/free

Find out what they are so you can implement them in this FREE mini-course, which includes a printed special report + a quick video tutorial to help you implement.

7 Keys to a Profitable Book

Grab it now WriteOnPurpose.comfree

Follow your BLISS,

Ronda Del Boccio

best selling author, speaker and mentor

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Book Review: Once There Were Sad Songs by Velda Brotherton

This is a book review to help authors improve your writing skills. This week’s book is a romance novel called Once There Were Sad Songs, by Velda Brotherton, a deep, atypical story featuring two people fleeing their pasts.

Once There Were Sad Songs is a romance between two people fleeing their pasts. Author Velda Brotherton, a full time writer, created the story.  Wild Rose Press published it in December of 2013.

I have to be honest. I'm not usually a romance reader, unless there's suspense, mystery, or the romance is just part of life and not the focal point. Thee are certain conventions in the romance genre that drive me crazy.

I read Once There Were Sad Songs because of the skill of the author, Velda Brotherton. She  has now successfully written and published 25 books, I believe, and is a superb writer, a helpful mentor, and a terrific person.

Her writing is so strong and compelling. I'm glad I read this book.

When a writer is so gifted you'll gladly read a genre you don't normally enjoy, that's quality wordcraft.

SEXY, DARK AND GRITTY TALES Tough gutsy heroines, strong and gentle heroes, villains to die for.

The Romance Reviews

Here is the description from Amazon.com:

COver of Once There Were Sad Songs by Velda BrothertonIn the summer of 1985, Mary Elizabeth flees a fanatic husband and a cult-like life to search for a meaningful existence.

Camped in Ouachita State Park she falls in with three scruffy motorcycle bums after one of them rescues her from some young hoodlums. That one, despite all his nightmare memories, teaches her the true meaning of love and changes her life forever. Steven, a Vietnam vet and war hero set on the path to destruction with his buddies, never expected to find a woman whose love could help him see how to atone for his misspent life and find happiness again.

But once he's cofound her and realized the way he must go, it's impossible to keep her in his life. Or is it?

Read my 5-Star Review here

5 Star Review Graphic

 

Details that Reveal Character

I love how Brotherton reveals character and physical description at the same time. Here is an example from when Mary Elizabeth first get a look at the man who had pulled her out of the river yesterday:

Dimples carved humor into the features as if the artist who had sketched him had returned to add one more detail.It was an amazing restoration She couldn't help but smile back.

That is so much more elegant and effective than merely describing an expression or physique. Brilliant. That's the sort of thing that makes me read a romance that Velda authored.

Power of the Past

I have come to feel that the character's past is a character in its own right. In Sad Songs, Steven is a beleaguered veteran suffering from PTSD. Mary Elizabeth was fleeing her life in a cult with a control freak husband.

People--real people, not just characters in books--react based upon the past That's why I say it becomes a character all its own in stories such as this.

Neither of our heroes, particularly Steven, is always living in current time. Here is an example of how the past intrudes into a character's now:

With a sigh he turned toward the back wall, sucked in the musty smell of old, damp canvas, closed his eyes, and found himself gazing down with nine-year-old eyes into Papa's coffin. Saw the familiar old man change into a young soldier dressed in jungle gear. Steven Michael Llewellyn, killed in 'Nam, like he should have ben.

A terrifying darkness swallowed him up.

This is how memory works. I'm not talking about the kind of memory where you try to recall where you left your keys. The brain spits up other times,barging into our present with images, smells, recollections. It's messy and mostly unconscious.

The above passage is also an excellent example of deep POV, coming up next.

Deep POV (point of view)

I've brought up deep point of view more than once. It's currently the "in fashion" way to write, letting the reader deep inside the thoughts, feelings, and perceptions of the character. Brotherton is a master of deep POV.

Here is an excellent example from a passage in which we're inside the head of  Steven, an embattled Vietnam vet living the life of a wanderer with two of his buddies:

No tears. too late to cry. Much too late. His ruined life twisted behind him in long, ugly spirals. Like he'd snatched at it, squeezed it dry, then tossed it away. Never once looking back.

This pulls the reader into Steven's perception of his life and his sense of unworthiness.

Deep POV is something that you don't get as an author until you do. It may feel as if you're deep when you're not. Practice and read great examples.

Twisting the Romance Mold

Every genre has its conventions. Romance has a certain formula, dictating that the two who will pair off meet, have a ight (or several), make up, come closer together, fight again, and so forth. And just when things seem blackest and bleakest, they come together.

Once There Were Sad Songs is not your grandma's formulaic romance. While ere are the expected fights and make-ups (and some sex scenes), the plot is not predictable.

I love how the resolution happens. Naturally, I won't spoil it for you, but suffice it to say it's not typical.

A Reading Tip for Authors

Writers must read. Reading good books helps you improve writing skills.

Get a highlighter. If you're an author wishing to improve your skills, read books with a highlighter in hand.

I highlight passages on my Kindle all the time when I come across something juicy. Yes, it helps me write these reviews, but most importantly, doing this makes it easy to go back and review passages from which I as an author can learn.

Maybe it is a bit of character development, the cadence of dialogue, or a loaded description. Later I can easily see those highlighted bits.

Order your copy of Once There Were Sad Songs

Order from Amazon

Connect with Velda Brotherton

Like her Facebook page.

Visit her website.

Velda Brotherton book table including Once There Were Sad Songs, Beyond the Moon, Rowena's Hellion, Wolf Song and others

Similar Books by Velda Brotherton

Brotherton has published several books in which one of the main characters is a wounded warrior (veteran) with PTSD.

Beyond the Moon is a darker tale of a hospitalized veteran with raging PTSD and the artist dragged into his life. This is an intense tale published by Foyle Press, an Oghma Creative Media imprint.

Rowena's Hellion is the second in the Victorians series, also published by Wild Rose Press..

See all her many books on Amazon.

Book Reviews

Before posting here, I first write a review on Amazon, and I am an Amazon Top Reviewer; read my reviews at WriteOnPurpose.com/reviews.

Each Tuesday, read  a book review on WriteOnPUrpose.com. I delve deeper in these than I do for what I post on Amazon

Focusing on what makes a good read, these reviews benefit authors and readers alike. Each contains  hints to help authors make their books more compelling.

Book Review Requests

If you are an author desiring a book review, go to my Review Request Page at WriteOnPurpose.com/reviewrequest and complete the form. You will need to provide a digital copy of your book and be willing to accept my honest review.

Follow your B.L.I.S.S.

Ronda Del Boccio
#1 best selling author, speaker, and Amazon Top Reviewer

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Writing Advice for NaNoWriMo from Veronica Roth

This is fabulous writing advice from Veronica Roth, author of the Divergent series, for those in NaNoWriMo. Her teaching will help any author of fiction or nonfiction. I love her take on writing and hope you will as well.

As a participant in NaNoWriMo, we get pep talks. This writing advice  from Divergent Series author Veronica Roth is outstanding, so I decided to share it.

See the original article source.

Veronica Roth Pep Talk for NaNoWriMo

My Dear NaNo-ers,

I don’t particularly like comparing novel writing to climbing a Veronica Rothmountain, because it’s been done, but let’s face it: it works. Look at this fairly standard map of plot structure:

I mean, it looks like a freaking mountain.

If you’re anything like me, you reach that “rising action” stage about halfway through your manuscript, lift your head to the heavens to see how much of the book is left, and consider camping out where you are for a while or even rolling back down to the bottom. This may happen to you on November 15 or somewhere thereabouts. I am here to tell you two things:

  1. Do not be alarmed. This is normal.
  2. Do not camp out, and do not climb back down.

There is a lot of writing advice floating around the Internet, and there are also a lot of “don’t bother with writing advice, just put your butt in a chair and work!” manifestos. (Which was my motto for the past year and a half, actually.) Some of this advice includes:

  • “Getting to know your character” exercises (questionnaires, quizzes, free-writing, etc.)
  • “Mapping out your plot” exercises (break down your plot into the plot structure diagram above, map out each scene and make sure each one shifts the story from a positive place to a negative one, or a negative place to a positive one, etc.)
  • “Prose and voice” exercises (read your manuscript out loud, never use adverbs, alternate short and long sentences, etc.)

There are also many discussions about whether you are a “pantser” (writing by the seat of your pants) or a “plotter” (mapping out your stories beforehand), someone who writes from beginning to end, or someone who jumps around in time, and so on.

Some of you might know exactly which one of those things you are—you have a process, you know which pieces of advice work for you, you have a routine—and some of you may feel hopelessly lost. My advice to both camps of people, from my (still admittedly few) climbs up manuscript mountain, is the same:

Let go of your process.

Let go of stressing out about your process.

Let go of finding your process.

Let go of all of it.

When you reach the place on Manuscript Mountain that makes you consider admitting defeat, and the tools you have used to get as far as you have are no longer working for you, consider using someone else’s tools. Pantser? Try plotting. Plotter? Try literally burning your outline (safely! In a trash can or something!). Perfectionist? Try writing the worst scene you can possibly muster. Strict beginning-to-end-er? Write whatever scene is burning a hole in your brain and fill in the gap later. Whatever you do, don’t hold so tightly to whatever writer identity you have formed for yourself that you can’t innovate, change, and grow.

It is not important that you stay the same writer you are now, or that you have a definite routine or pattern. I started my first book in the middle, with no outline, and finished my third book with a detailed one, written from beginning to end. I thought I knew what kind of writer I was, but ultimately I found those definitions limiting rather than freeing. If I can let them go, I can become whatever writer each story requires me to be.

What is important, far more than the definitions we cling to, is that we finish the stories we are burning to tell.

So, fill your writer toolbox with as many tools as you can, even if they seem silly or like they will never work for you. You don’t have to make detailed outlines, or fill out character questionnaires, or do free-writing, or keep a journal, or draw maps if you don’t want to. But it helps to have new tools to pick up if the old ones stop working for you.

And consider getting desperate. Desperate to write, desperate to get that story on the page, desperate to let the characters speak, and desperate to finish. Get so desperate that you will try anything to make it work. You have a deadline. It is November 30. You can do it. But you might have to throw all your preconceptions about yourself and your writing out the window.

No manuscript is perfect the first time through. You don’t need to worry about perfection right now. But you are participating in this magical month of generally antisocial behavior and potential caffeine overdose because you believe that pushing through a manuscript in a month will help you in some way, and that means you need the wild, thirsty freedom of a writer who will get to the end.

Don’t be a plotter or a pantser, a strict butt-in-chair person or an exercise-doer, a beginning-to-end-er or a time jumper—don’t be anything other than whatever you need to be to keep climbing.

And then, for the love of all things writing and book-related, revise the crap out of Manuscript Mountain.

 

Veronica Roth is the author of the Divergent series.

Thank you, Veronica Roth, for your sage writing advice.

I tend to trust my Muse. The story and characters will come.

Happy writing!

Follow your BLISS,

Ronda Del Boccio

Author, Speaker, Teller of Transformational Tales

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How Do You Make Minor Characters Come to Life? NaNoWriMo Day 3

Today’s NaNoWriMo musings include an excerpt from They All Died Smiling. Discover how to bring minor characters easily, without doing a big profile on them.

How do you bring your minor characters to life?

I'm participating in National Novel Writing Month, NaoWriMo, My book is They All Died Smiling, a paranormal suspense story.

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) partiipant badge 2014)Today I was thinking about minor characters and what I do to make the come to life.

Honestly, even the minor characters typically simply "come to me." Occasionally I base one off of someone from my real life, but mostly they present themselves to me.

When I need a minor character, I like to know one thing that makes them stand out. It's not necessary to invent a whole back story for them.CHicago Tribune Building against a clear blue skyWhen I needed to have Kassidy's editor at the Chicago Tribune  send her out on assignment, an image of a bulldog came to me. The dialogue between them poured out. He's funny to her rather than intimidating, much to his chagrin, I'm sure.

Since Kass tends to give people nicknames, he shall forever be Bulldog Bob to her. The Arts and Entertainment Editor is Princess Olivia because of her grace and regal manner. Toni, hostess at Lou Mitchell's, is the Matchmaker.

She also has a couple of names for who becomes the antagonist, but I'll share that later.

Here's the encounter between Kassidy and her editor:

Bulldog Bob stopped and pointed at me. “Bates.” He reminded me of a bulldog, because of his big jowls and four chins. Any chair he sat in creaked in protest. He hooked his finger in a ‘come here’ gesture and went into his office, expecting me to be at his heels.

With him, I never knew what to expect. But then nobody else did either. He always scowled and barked orders, so I could be getting fired, scolded, praised or promoted. Impossible to tell until whatever it was happened.

Note to self. Better not ever call him Bulldog Bob to his face.

“A woman died in the River. Go.” He handed me a piece of paper and turned his attention to the computer. Code for dismissed.

The Chicago River made the miracle of walking on water seem possible. Thick and filthy, it was hard to imagine someone drowning in it.

“She couldn’t climb up the piles of pollution and save herself?”  I calculated the commute time and stayed put.

Bob grunted and kept typing. “Good one, Bates. When do you open at Second City?”

“Next week, if I keep getting assignments like this.” I’ve never been to the legendary comedy club, but it is on my list of places to visit. In the audience, not as a comedian.

The typing paused, then resumed. “You’re still standing there.”

“You’re observant this morning. Must’ve had your coffee.”

“Deadline is in two hours, so you’d better get a move on.” He snapped.

It would take me most of that time to commute if I had to take the bus. “Keys.” I held my palm out for them.

He shook his head.

“Bob, you’re giving me a two hour deadline. I don’t’ have a car here and I don’t know the city. You have a Garmen, so I can get there and back in almost enough time to write half an article for you.”

“Nothin doin. I‘ve seen how you park.”

“I practiced,” I lied. Nobody ever has to parallel park in the Ozarks.

He stood and loomed over me with his jowls hanging and swaying in front of him. “One scratch and you’re dead. Hear me? Not just fired. D. E. A. D. Dead.”

“Gee, thanks for the spelling lesson. I always wondered how to spell that word.”

He grunted and tossed me the keys.

“See you in a couple of hours.” After my father and a houseful of boys, it took a whole lot more than blubber wagging in my face to intimidate me.

How am I progressing?

This graphic shows howI am progressing toward my goal.

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Ronda Del Boccio, the Story Lady - Follow Your B.L.I.S.S.!Ronda Del Boccio

Bestselling author, speaker and mentor

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Book Review: Bayou Jesus by M. G. miller

Each week, read a #bookReview on WriteOnPUrpose.com by best selling author, speaker & Top #BookReviewer Ronda Del Boccio. This week it’s a southern gothic #thriller Bayou Jesus by M. G. Miller. #southerngothic

Book Review of Bayou Jesus by M. G. Miller

Welcome to the firt Write On Purpose book review.  Each week, I review a well-written book, highlighting what makes it good from the reader’s perspective and what writing skills and techniques make it an irresistible read. Thus, each review serves both writers and readers.

You can feel the heat of the bayou while reading Bayou Jesus. M. G. Miller draws  you into the scene so thoroughly you feel you're there. He also pulls you into the minds and hearts of his truly 3-dimensional characters.

What makes this a book worth reading?

Continue reading "Book Review: Bayou Jesus by M. G. miller"

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Writing Skills: How Does Being a Better Writer Start Within?

Do you want to be a better and more effective writer? Reading books will only help a little. These tips will help you find inner peace and tap your creativity.

When you're an author, It's great to read books about writing, but naturally the best way to improve your skill is by DOING, not reading about it.

Writers write, always.Want to improve your writing skills? Simple. Write More.

Maybe you find it hard to feel inspired or get into the mood to write. I wrote a post about this recently.

If this is your issue, you can read the article, "Writing Challenges: How to Get into the Writing Mood."

That's just a symptom, though, in my opinion..

I say there's even a deeper concern  than whether or not you're feeling it. What could that be?

Continue reading "Writing Skills: How Does Being a Better Writer Start Within?"

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#027 What Do I Do to Create Effective Endings? Awakened Author adventure Episode 27

#027 Awakened Author Adventure Episode 27

Welcome to the Awakened Author Adventure free writing podcast, where visionaries like you come for resources, tools and direction to help you write, publish and share your life-changing book!

Each week you get help in 1 of the 5 keys to author success in the BLISS Butterfly System, including how to write a book, book marketing help and more.

Your guide on this adventure is #1 best selling author, speaker and mentor Ronda Del Bocciothe Story Lady, (namely me). I’m PASSIONATE about turning world-changers into bestselling authors with grace, joy and ease.

Today’s teaching comes from the first S in the BLISS System for publishing –  which is all about sharing your message with those who need and desire it. Sharing is the heart of book marketing and promotion.

This is the Thursday audio message for Awakened Author Premium Members that you get to hear. It’s your peek behind the curtain into making your dreams come true for your book and beyond!

Publishing a book, a video, a podcast, a blog post… means giving your ideas form. No more are you going to become an author someday. You can write it NOW following the simple tips and templates for authorship that you hear each week in this free podcast.

BLISS Butterfly - Follow your bliss - Follow Your B.L.I.S.S. - Celebrity Author Mentor - Book Marketing Coach - Ronda Del Boccio

SHARETheme of the Week –  Effective Endings!

.Last week’s theme was Mesmerizing Middles. You can hear that message in Episode 26.

This week is all about what you do at the END of whatever it is you're offering to make the biggest impact AND keep your reader - prospect - customer - coming back for more.

It’s all too common for authors to fail at the most critical point - the ending.

There's a story I tell in this podcast episode about a pot of coffee. Be sure to listen for it, because you'll easily notice the difference between a statement or suggestion and an effective ending, which is a call to action.

You'll also discover what you can do at the very end of your book marketing pieces, such as social updates, blog posts, and videos, to keep your reader or viewer engaged!

Listen to This Week’s Episode

If you are viewing this article on a site other than WriteOnPurpose.com and don’t see the player, simply go to WriteOnPurpose.com/27 to hear it.

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What’s your most burning question about writing, publishing, blogging, social media, book marketing, mindset, storytelling, product creation, author platform – ANY aspect of being an author?

Your question along with your name and website.could be featured in an upcoming episode of the Awakened Author Adventure. Simply go to the Question Page and ask a question now.

 How to Subscribe to the Awakened Author Adventure Free Podcast

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Spread the LOVE – Tweet the Show!

Want to share this podcast with your peeps?  tweet the show now - and thanks! I will reply to everyone who tweets the show using this pre-filled message.

CLICK THIS IMAGE to tweet this to your community

Sart FREE - Get Help No Matter Where You Are in Your Author Journey!

Here’s what you’re missing if you’re not a Premium Member

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Begin your 7-Day FREE Trial Premium Membership and you can be on the next LIVE call and get all this week’s Mesmerizing Middles messages.

Here’s what you’re missing if you’re are not YET a Premium member…

 

  • Recorded live weekly call to keep you taking action
  • Downloadable mp3 Recording of the call so you can listen on your computer or mobile device.
  • Private group where you can ask questions and get feedback on any aspect of authorship.
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  • All for about the same as you would give for lunch with a friend once a month.

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Free Listeners -Come back next week for your next Awakened Author Adventure free writing podcast!

Come back each week for direction, resources and inspiration to help you write, publish and share your life-changing message.

Follow your B.L.I,S,S.!

Ronda Del Boccio, the Story Lady

#1 bestselling author, mentor and speaker

This week helping you with book marketing!

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Writing Skills Help: How Can You Improve Your Writing WITHOUT Writing?

Writing a good book worth reading is more than how you write the book. Other skills come into play, including copywriting and persuasion.

If this seems confusing or irrelevant, consider the power of these aspects of a book:

  • Title
  • Subtitle
  • Back cover content
  • Book description on Amazon or other bookseller sites
  • Content on author's site/blog about the book

Every author needs to either develop copywriting skills or hire it done, and hiring a good copywriter can be an expensive venture for someone just starting out with your book and platform.

This article by David Deutsch teaches how to become a better copywriter before you begin writing:

Improve Your Copywriting—without Writing a Word by David Deutsch Copywriting is about being persuasive

 

So if you want to get better at copywriting, practice being persuasive. In person as well as in print.

 

Practice convincing your friends, family and business associates to try a particular food, accompany you somewhere, watch a certain show, or just to do “A” rather than “B”.

 

Notice what works.  Notice what doesn’t.  How do you deal with objections? How do you lay the groundwork for persuasion (bonding, getting them into an agreeable mood)? How do you “close the sale”?

 

Not doing too well? Read up on salesmanship and persuasion.

 

If you’re really serious about copywriting and you’ve never done it before, get a second job for a week or two in a telemarketing center, selling door-to-door, helping out in a retail store, or selling anything face-to-face.

 

When have a copywriting assignment, practice “selling” people on the product or service you’re writing about.

Can you get them interested in it? Interested enough to buy it?

 

Keep refining your ability to “sell” the product or service in person and you’ll be far more able to sell it on the page.

And your copywriting skills will soar.

 

Click the Original article source.

 

One way to get help with your own persuasion skills is to join the free 30 Day Awakened Author Challenge – and while learning how to write a book and get it published, you will discover what will help your ideal reader CRAVE your book and everything else you do.

Join the free challenge now at www.WriteOnPurpose.com/challenge!

Follow your bliss!

Ronda Del Boccio, the Story Lady

Creator of the 30 Day Awakened Author Challenge!

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