Follow a fellow writer while I navigate the shark infested waters of self-publishing.
Hooks Sell Books
All marketing starts with a "hook"; especially if you're trying to sell something as intangible as a book.
You need a hook, to sell your book.
"Hook" is a slang term used in marketing and sales which literally means "to reduce to a complete loss of self-control" (Webster's Third New International Dictionary).
If you've "hooked" your prospective reader or audience they will have lost all "self-control" and feel compelled to buy what you're selling just to get off the hook. (pun intended)
While there are a good number of other useful definitions listed for "hook" this is probably one of the most applicable ones for our purposes.
As for examples...
Just start paying attention to all the advertising around you. And even the communications that you might not necessary consider "advertising".
A hook is contained in any and every short, pointed communication that demands your immediate attention and action.
It gets you to look, listen, pay attention, and take some action. There is always a call to action. It might be implied but the call to action is always there. It is often no more complicated than "buy this", or "read this" to get more.
Don't get the idea that a "hook" needs to be long or complex.
They are short, simple and hit you at a visceral level.
Think book titles.
Wander around or browse a book store, or a Wall-mart.
Go look at a news stand. Every effective headline contains a "hook".
A magazine cover contains a bunch of them.
The tabloids are a great study of effective titles that "hook" the reader's attention.
Crafting an effective hook for your book is an integral part of marketing, and EVERY fiction writer must understand marketing if he expects to make any money as a writer. This applies to self-publishing writers as well as conventionally published ones.
Remember publishers don't sell books. Publishers only print and distribute books. It's up to the author to sell his book. And all marketing starts with having an effective "hook".
"Hook" literally means "to reduce to a complete loss of self-control" (Webster's Third New International Dictionary).
Just returned from an 8 month, 14,000 mile road-trip around America.
There are so many stories out there and so little time to tell them…I hardly know where to begin.
P.S.Oh, yea I just remembered…
Stories are everywhere. That’s not a problem. I should say ‘story ideas’ are everywhere.
99 days on the road and I’ve seen half the country, and talked with a lot of people, and read and seen a lot of history.
But are these “stories”?
The simple answer is “NO”.
You see, no matter the drama, just because something “happened”, no matter how “interesting” it’s not a “story”.
“Stories” are very precise things. They are “created” whether out of one’s imagination, out of fact or a combination of the two to serve a specific purpose.
That purpose is the conveyance of an singular idea.
A Story, irrespective of its seeming complexity, represents a singular truth, better known as a “premise”.
The premise of the story is that idea.
Any given story is dependent upon a premise for continuity, and purpose.
Without a premise we have a purposeless narrative that wanders. The language could be beautiful, even poetic, the action – as exciting as a roller coaster ride; characters that leap off the page and grab the reader by the throat.
But when it’s all said and done if there is no premise, no point to the narrative, then the audience will put down the book, or walk out of the theater, with nothing more than what they started with.
No matter how artful the presentation, they did not experience a “story” but merely a device of distraction.
And that’s the difference between a “story” and simple “entertainment”.
Ideas for stories may be everywhere, but it takes a true “storyteller” to arrange a sequence of action into something that means something; to imbue the events of a life with meaning.
I'm just going to be totally honest here. As downright pathetic and very sad as this is to admit, I am completely lost as to how I should go about self
Of all the fiction writing tips one could possibly get these 13 are more valuable than all the rest.
"Published" is not something that one becomes; it's something that one simply does.
If you're waiting for the establishment to give you permission to be a "published" author you're holding the wrong end of the stick.
My best advice:
It's damn near impossible to make money from just one book.
You need to publish 6-8 good books a year. That kind of quality volume, aimed at a specific reading public, is the cornerstone for the most effective promotion a fiction writer can do for his work. To get to that level - you need to:
The writing systems of the great writers of the Golden Age of Fiction (1910-1960) relied on Story Technology. Discover what they knew - that you're missing.
Q. What's your biggest problem or frustration with writing fiction?: Revision.
A. I would suggest that you write more and revise less. Write the manuscript, correct the typos, publish the book - and move on to writing the next one. That's the only way that you'll make progress.
I find it a very strange fact that the writing of fiction is the only profession where constant "revision", "editing" or "re-re-re-writing" is not only considered normal but desirable.
This is like going to the dentist only to have him re-fill the same cavity over and over again. Where is the benefit in that? Or having a chief re-re-re-cook the same eggs 6 times before finally putting them on a plate for you to eat.
Engineers don't constantly re-build bridges. Painters don't constantly paint, scrape and re-paint the same house over and over again, day after day. Your surgeon doesn't constantly re-re-re-transplant your heart... So where do writers get the idea they are supposed to re-re-re-re-write?
Why don't writers have the idea (like every other profession) of just doing it right in the first place? Do it once, do it right and be done with it!
The obvious and only answer is that they are uncertain of their craft.
But if the writer knows what he is trying to create and how to create it there is no uncertainty. Uncertainty comes from a lack of knowledge and therefore lack of control over one's craft.
The solution for this lack of knowledge it simply to study the Technology of Storytelling or what I call Story Tech. Storytelling is a Technology.
If one knows and uses the correct technology correctly then they get a good product. If one doesn't know the technology or does not use it then - they get crap. It's that simple.
PS. No amount of "revision" will turn crap into gold. But constant revision can turn gold into crap.
There are many common writing myths. Here are a few of the most deadly.
To achieve that you must know and use the correct tech of storytelling - what I call Story Tech.
Then you need to know how to sell your manuscript or book like any business person would sell a product. If you can do the above, everything else will take care of itself.
If on the other hand; you believe you can sit on a mountain top and simply type whatever comes to mind and some agent or publisher is going to swoop down like the tooth fairy, whisk your pages away and leave you bags of gold - your living in a dream world and it's time to wake up.
Writing, publishing and selling fiction is a business and it does not suffer fools.
"Nothing is more clear than that every plot, worth the name, must be elaborated to its denouement before anything be attempted with the pen. It is only with the denouement constantly in view that we can give a plot its indispensable air of consequence, or causation, by making the incidents, and especially the tone at all points, tend to the development of the intention." ~ Edgar Allan Poe, excerpted from his 1846 lecture "The Philosophy of Composition".
Poe goes on to dismiss the idea of artistic intuition and argues that writing is methodical and analytical, not spontaneous.
He explains that other authors are reluctant to admitted this because most writers would "positively shudder at letting the public take a peep behind the scenes... at the fully matured fancies discarded in despair... at the cautious selections and rejections."
All of which argues in favor of acquiring "The Rich Writers Story System" or, if you've got 10 years to spare - developing your own system.
One way or another you need a system if you expect to write well enough - fast enough - to make a living at it.
"A book has but one voice, but it does not instruct everyone alike." ~ Thomas Kempis
"The lover of letters loves power too." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
"There is probably no hell for authors in the next world - they suffer so much from critics and publishers in this one." ~ Christian N. Bovee
"The chief glory of every people arises from its authors." ~ Samuel Johnson
"The world is before you and you need not take it or leave it as it was when you came in." ~ James Baldwin
"I'm all for keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with typewriters." Frank Lloyd Wright (1868-1959) architect
<1>"Selfpublishing was the only form of publishing for 400 years between Gutenberg and the Victorian era. It's not only honorable, it's historic." ~ Godfrey Harris, author and publisher.
The best writers resources are the comments and advise of other writers. Ask questions and share your advice - in this writers community.
These creative writing tips are the simplest, most powerful, and sought after tips for fiction writers. They debunk many of the myths about the craft.
Becoming a writer is not what it's cracked up to be. Discover what they don't want you to know to see why you should be an author/publisher instead of a writer.
Writing a Novel is simple when you understand how. Here's what you need to know and how to get started.
Before you waste a lot of time with story starters; discover how to actually Conceive, Design, and Research your story before you try Composing it.
There is no shortage of creative writing ideas. The problem is knowing what to do with the idea when you get one. For that you need The Story Engine.
Find out why writing styles are far less important for the fiction writer than simply creating a good story and telling well.
Did I mention, You need to write fast?
"Unknown, self-published author makes one-millionth Kindle sale
Yahoo! News Canada (blog"
"It's a self-publishing success story rarely told. After over 50 rejections from agents and publishers, Hocking found an audience online. "Each book takes between two and four weeks to write and she sells them for between 99 cents and $2.99. ..."
Note that Hocking only spends 2-4 weeks writing her novels.
John Locke reports that his novels only take 3 weeks.
Do you recognize the similarity?
Writing fast is a primary ingredient of their success.
Watch my 4 videos to learn how you can write fast - like Hocking and Locke.
Video # - 1 Click here to watch "Write a "Killer" Novel, Fast..."
May I give you some advice?
Forget about "finding an agent". You neither need nor want a blood sucking agent in this digital age. In fact literary agents are going the way of the do-do bird. In a couple years they will be extinct, and good riddance.
And you don't need to ask permission from a conventional publisher either.
Selfpublish your novels as ebooks and get on with writing the next, next, next one and beyond. And the sooner the better.
If you've watched my videos. You know what can be done and how to do it. And you know that this writing business is a learnable technology.
So, what are you waiting for?
If you're lacking self-confidence then buy one of my packages and you will know how to write fast, books that will sell. And you'll know that you know. It's not voodoo and it's not rocket science.
The single most important aspect of selling your books is having a significant quantity of them available to buy on Amazon, Barns & Nobel, etc.
Just get on with it.
The world is in desperate need of good stories and the storytellers to tell them.
Watch my videos for fiction writers and learn how to write killer novels fast, that will sell.
Video # - 1 Write a "Killer" Novel, Fast...
So, Write on...
Amazon adds 3 three new authors to the million book club
And while you're at it watch these free videos to understand how to write a quantity of good novels quickly enough to achieve an impact in the marketplace.
Video # - 1 Write a "Killer" Novel, Fast...
Think about it...
None of the above writers did it with just one book.
If anyone doubted the viability of ebooks before its clearly time for the doubters to call it a day. John Locke became the first author to sell a million ebooks on Amazon and now he's joined by three more writers.
Get John's book (an ebook of course) on how he sold his million.
Very informative, no fluff, here's the nuts and bolts - to a successful book campaign in this new digital age.
Write on...And selfpublish.
What are you waiting for?
Harlan Ellison Wins 'In Time' Lawsuit against New Regency for copyright infringement.
Good to see a writer of Harlan's stature getting his due from Follywood.
Just goes to show that the move moguls don't always read the scripts they green-light.
See the rest of the the article hear
as reported today in sciencefiction.com
This is one of the Types of Poetry. An Ode to my other children - the words I birth onto the page.
These how to write a novel tools vastly improve the odds of not only finishing the manuscript but ensuring that it's a good salable story.
Stay up to date with news and trends about Fiction Writing news, Self Publishing and Books streaming from the major news services.
The elements of fiction are the fundamental principles of writing effective fiction
Writing for Publication is the only legitimate reason to write stories. Creating "Art for art's sake" is a fool's errand.
"To arrive at the truth, once in your life, you have to rid yourself of all the opinions that you have received and reconstruct anew, from the foundation, all the systems of your knowledge." ~ Rene Descartes
Wise words for fiction writers.
Go watch this video series. Discover the Technology of Storytelling
Or read about the background of this groundbreaking video series on
The Writing Systems page
The lights will come on;-))
As Mark Twain said, "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so."
People keep asking me about "agents".
You don't need nor want an agent anymore than you 'need' some company to "self publish" your book for you.
I don't understand why writers insist on putting their careers in the hands of blood sucking agents.
The world of books is in the midst of the greatest upheaval in book publishing since the invention of the printing press. I cant imagine a worse time for a writer to tie up their life-blood with a conventional publisher let alone a worthless agent - than this moment in history.
Agents will be a dead as dodo birds in another 5 years. So get over the "I need an agent" BS and just publish your own stuff. You'll be much happier and you'll make and keep more of your hard earned money to boot.
PS Watch these free videos to see how to write better fiction faster that actually sells.
And then maybe you'll quit worrying about agents and publishers - and just write & publish your own stuff.
I've just released a series of 4 free videos about Writing Systems for Fiction Writers.
Now, if you only write fiction as a hobby it really doesn't matter if you spend 10 years writing a novel (or if you ever finish it at all) because your purpose is not really to sell it.
But, if you expect to make a living as a novelist then there is some stuff that you need to know - starting with The Technology of Storytelling or what I call "Story Tech".
If you understand Story Tech and use it you'll be prolific and prosperous. But without it you'll be broke and miserable. It's about that simple.
Writers are not born they are made. And they are made like any other craftsman - from studying and practicing the Correct Technology for their craft.
For fiction writers that's Story Tech.
You can get it and use it or continue to suffer.
Writers sometimes ask about "character development".
That starts at the same place as the conception of the story. The purpose of the protagonist is the illustration of a premise. That's his primary function and purpose for being in the story in the first place. The story is "about" the protagonist and the protagonist is all about the illustration of a premise.
The premise is what gives the story focus and direction. The premise is the foundation for every decision that the writer must make regarding the protagonist. And the story requires a lot of decisions. Without a premise all the decisions about the story, and therefore everything about the protagonist, will be arbitrary and the narrative will wander and fail to arrive anywhere.
Trying to construct a story without a protagonist won't work. And trying to develop a protagonist without a premise won't work.
So, what's a premise you ask.
The simplest definition of premise is "point". What's the point of the story? Why are you telling your audience this? Why are they listening? To put this in perspective consider a conversation without a point - otherwise known as a pointless conversation or "idle chatter".
The premise or point doesn't have to be earthshaking but it does need to be there, if for no other reason than to provide focus and continuity to the narrative. Otherwise, like a cocktail conversation, the narrative drifts with nowhere to go.
A half drunken partygoer might put up with a few minutes of such idle chatter, but a sober reader confronting a 300 page book, won't put up with that kind of babble for long, maybe not even the first chapter.
Some aspiring writers would like to believe that there is no exact definition for a story.
They somehow think this excuses them from having to learn, with any precision, what a story is or they mistakenly feel that it forgives them from learning any of the rules of good storytelling.
But that's a grievous mistake.
Things do have very specific definitions, even when we don't necessarily know what those definitions are.
When we want a hamburger, we go to a fast-food store and order a hamburger. We expect, rightfully, that the fellow in the back knows what a hamburger is and will give us one. When they put the food on our tray we don't want to see and aren't going to tolerate "artistic freedom" as an excuse for giving us apple pie smothered in turkey gravy. We will not accept the idea that there is no exact definition for what a hamburger is. If this store is confused that's their problem, we'll just take our $5 bucks somewhere else. A hamburger is a hamburger. It's never whatever the cook "feels" like throwing on a plate that day.
A story is no different in that regard from a hamburger. If you're going to serve them up then you damn well better know what they are, because your cash customers certainly do.
If you try serving bologna between two slices of a "book cover" that clearly says "novel" then... Well, they might not shoot you but they'll do something even worse. The market place will ignore you and stay away in droves.
Stories are what your customers are buying, so stories are what you better, not only be advertising, but delivering.
And for that, my friend, you must start with culinary novel school and learn precisely what it is you're cooking.
The pages of this website are a good place to start.
Yesterday an otherwise very intelligent aspiring writer informed me that they were working on a non-fiction book that "told a story". When I ask what definition of "story" she was using she replied that definition one worked for her; "1. a narrative, either true or fictitious, in prose or verse, designed to interest, amuse, or instruct the hearer or reader; tale" obviously taken from some dictionary.
Unfortunately, that definition is fatally flawed and inadequate on several levels. For starters, this is the equivalent of saying that a shoe is an object that covers one's foot or a cat is an animal with 4 legs. Although somewhat correct it fails to differentiate.
Now, this type of definition is fine if one is only interested in consuming "stories" but not for a writer trying to create a story. Any more than defining a cat as a four legged creature would suffice for a veterinarian or defining a shoe as an object that covers one's foot would work for a cobbler.
Would you take your sick cat to a veterinarian who only knew that cats had four legs? Would you buy shoes from a cobbler who only knew that shoes covered your feet? Hardly!
Otherwise you'd likely wind up with a dead cat or very sore feet.
Yet, countless writers try to create their product "story" with no better definition or understanding of what a story is than that misinformed cobbler.
Realizing that you have a missing or inadequate definition for the product you are trying to create is the first step. And it's a huge step; complicated by the fact that the nomenclature of stories and storytelling got lost with the death of the Bards (500+ years ago) if it was ever written down in the first place.
Aspiring writers will not find the nomenclature of stories or storytelling accurately or adequately defined in any of the dictionaries.
The correct definitions of the words that constitute the nomenclature of stories and storytelling must be reconstituted for aspiring writers to have any chance of learning the subject.
575 years ago a great event overwhelmed the world of storytellers.
Gutenberg's printing press washed over the world and wiped away the 10 thousand years of oral storytelling tradition, as practiced by minstrels and wandering bards.
In less than a generation this technology of storytelling; which had been codified, polished, perfected and handed down from master to apprentice like every other craft for centuries - was all but lost and forgotten.
The technology died a little with the passing of each oral storyteller - until they were all gone.
They never wrote down the secrets of their craft because they could neither read nor write. Storytelling was an oral tradition and relegated to the illiterate lower classes.
Writing and reading the printed page was restricted to the merchant and higher classes. Although printing exploded across the continent; printers congregated in urban centers to serve their major customer base of scholars, ecclesiastics, lawyers, nobles and professionals.
We take reading and writing for granted today but, only a small percentage of the population in many countries was literate before the Industrial Revolution.
It would be almost 300 years before storytelling began to return to the masses through the publication of popular short stories and subsequently the "novel" which first appeared in France and meant simply "new".
The "Technology" of storytelling is a frail thing. Much was lost in those 300 years.
Writing Fiction is a Technology like any other.
If one knows the technology and uses it they can't be the adverse effect of it.
But the opposite is also true.
If you don't know the technology, or knowing it, fail to use it.You will be the adverse effect of the technology.
This tells us then; that if one is having any trouble with writing fiction, there is some aspect of the technology that one does not know, or is not using.
A few years ago 17.5 million manuscripts were submitted but only 175,000 books were published.
Aspiring writers take comfort in blaming, editors, publishers and agents for the miserable fate of their books.
But the bitter truth is the vast majority of aspiring writers just don't know how to create a good story or tell it well enough to warrant publication.
In fact it's worse than that. Out of those 175,000 books that were published more than 80% failed to earn back their meager advance. Which means they sucked.
You can test this yourself.
Go to your local book store, find the discount table, select a book, open it in the middle and start reading. Count how many pages you read before you get so disgusted you have to put it down.
Do this ten times. Maybe one out of ten will make you want to buy the book so you can read the whole thing. The rest are on that table precisely because they stink. But realize they were published anyway because they were the best the publisher had to choose from.
About this time you should realize that publishers don't know any more about this business than you do.
There is a technology to stories and storytelling. But it got lost with the invention of the printing press 517 years ago.
I've resurrected much of that lost technology.
I call it Story Tech.
There is something to know about the subject.
It can be known.
But you have to study it, just like any other technology.
Otherwise, you're just typing and praying.
There is a technology to stories and storytelling (Story Tech).
Storytelling (commonly referred to as "writing") is a technology. That's both the good and the bad news.
There is a Technology to writing a novel just as surely as there is a Technology to configuring a computer network, baking bread or building a bridge.
But if you subscribe to the idea that writing is some kind of voodoo-witchcraft-magic; then obviously you'll never be able to learn it.
If it takes more than 38 days to write a novel then there is something about the Technology you don't understand.
If you wrote only 3-1/2 hours a day, typing like a snail at only 10 words a minute an 80,000 word novel takes only 38 days to type.
So, why is it that writers typically spend 2 YEARS writing a novel and still wind up with crap?
Obviously there is something about stories and/or storytelling that they don't understand.
You can learn the technology of stories and storytelling (Story Tech) or you can continue to suffer and fail.
One concern I hear from writers about moving to ebooks is the idea that publishing in this form would prevent them from getting picked up by a major publisher which would give them access to that publishers marketing arm.
There are two mistakes in this line of thinking.
FIRST - Self publishing an ebook will not prevent a book deal from a major publisher.
Anyone holding onto the myth of the "advantage" of going with a major publisher hasn't been paying attention to my website or Dean Wesley Smith's or Cheryl Holt's. Or those of hundreds of other "published" authors who are all trying to wake up aspiring authors to this new digital world of self-publishing.
For the first time in over 500 years the advantage is shifting back to the storytellers or as some like to say today: "content creators".
As conventional publishing continues to implode Amazon takes another bite at becoming a legitimate NY Publisher which would complete its writer-to-reader empire.
And another NY Times Best Selling author spits out a bite of the apple by leaving NY and conventional publishing for ebooks.
Although if you read Cheryl Holt's (NY Time's best selling romance novelist) page at Cheryl Holt's News you get the idea that her exit is not one of choice but of necessity - as she, along with many mid-list authors, are dropped by her publishers.
Many well known, established writers are leaving NY Publishers just as Amazon is attempting to build a business there.
Is Amazon being arrogantly stupid, or clever like a fox?
Amazon has one thing that conventional publishers don't - distribution through the largest bookstore in the world.
And whereas conventional publishers have to share as much as half the profits with the bookstores, Amazon is all-in-one. This is no slight competitive advantage.
We haven't seen this level of vertical integration since the Hollywood "studio system" when the studios bought up theater chains in order to guarantee distribution of their films.
Amazon is just running the same game plan in reverse - from bookstore to publisher.
Politicians thought "the studio system" was a bad thing and so forced Hollywood to divest itself of either their movie studios or their theater chains; contending that it was monopolistic to own both.
The politicians won, the studio system ended and Hollywood has been limping along ever since at about 1/4 of its former movie production under the studio system. While ticket prices have mushroomed from 25 cents for a double feature to $10 or more for just one movie.
Politics won but the public lost.
This time around perhaps politicians will stay out of it and let the public (the marketplace) decide what's best for them.
Authors and readers are already voting, with impressive numbers, in favor of low cost, high speed ebooks.
And although Amazon may be the 800 pound gorilla at the moment; Sony, Apple, Google Books, Barns and Nobel, and a dozen other ebook distributors will keep Amazon honest.
Old fashioned monopolies won't work in this digital world - because choice is only a click away.
Richard A. McCullough
I get really tired of hearing the old myth that "great works routinely go unrecognized".
So, I took a quick look at authors who achieved fame and wealth in their lifetimes...
You could fill a library with the stuff. Steinbeck, Hemingway, Richard Back, Tom Wolf, Ken Kesey, Alan Ginsberg, ee commings(sp), Jack London, Ray Bradbury, Mark Twain, Robert Frost, Jules Verne, Mary Shelley, Beatrix Potter, Robert A. Heinlein, George Orwell, Agatha Christie, William Shakespeare, Ferlinghetti, Bob Dylan, Hawthorn, Melville, Poe, Pearl S. Buck, Kurt Vonnegut, James A. Michener, E. E. "Doc" Smith, James Joyce, etc., etc. The list goes on and on and I've only touched on writing. All of these writers compiled a substantial body of work and lived well from it in their lifetimes.
Unfortunately it is a widely circulated myth that masterpieces routinely go unrecognized.
People who promote that myth may be using some other definition for "masterpiece" than its original meaning. Masterpiece originally meant; a piece of work that demonstrated ones mastery of their craft, hence "master-piece".
So, don't buy into the "unrecognized genius" myth.
If you actually create a "master-piece", and put it out into the world aggressively - it will be recognized. The world is starving for good work as never before.
Amazon continues its shift from bookseller to book publishing company. And this time the global bookseller is joining the establishment rather than defying it.
As mainstream publishers are consolidating and Boarders (the 3rd largest retail bookstore) is going down in bankruptcy; Amazon is taking aim at a bigger piece of the apple.
Amazon is not only shifting its target in the bookselling business but its image as well.
Read this article to understand that despite its early positioning in the book business Amazon is no Robbin Hood.
Where once Amazon bucked the establishment by opening the door for independent writers and indi-publishers Amazon is now becoming the establishment and may even be closing the door to POD publishers.
Consider these developments in addition to the above referenced article...
Far from being Robbin Hood it looks like Amazon has decided to be the next Sheriff of Nottingham.
The most comprehensive fiction writing system ever published is about to be released.
4 free videos reveal the biggest, most powerful and most controversial secrets about Writing Better Fiction Faster that Sells!
You've never seen anything like this before.
The world of fiction writing will soon divide between those who understand the secrets and those who don't.
You will write better and faster than you ever thought possible - when you understand the intuitive, yet long lost, secrets of effective storytelling.
Storytelling is one of mans oldest occupations, and pastimes.
Yet in this day and age, while we possess the greatest ability in history to communicate; to say more, faster and cheaper to more people than ever before, our storytelling abilities are all but lost.
We were unmanned by our own technology.
Storytelling is one of mankind's most ancient crafts. It was passed down generation to generation, from master to apprentice like so many other crafts until the advent of - the printing press.
The printing press displaced the oral tradition of storytelling with the printed word.
While the printing press was a huge improvement; making mass communication possible, it also killed the oral tradition of wandering *bards and the apprenticeship system through which the craft had been developed, honed and polished to perfection for centuries.
Printers required a written document from which to set the type.
But the bards could neither read nor write.
Printers required payment up front for even a few dozen copies.
But bards were not capitalists. They lived hand to mouth.
To keep the per booklet cost down required mass printing. And mass production required mass distribution and mass sales.
But the bard's public did not know how to read. And the bards knew nothing of mass marketing and sales especially to a class considerably above their station.
Reading, writing, accumulation of capital, mass distribution and sales where the exclusive province of the merchant class and above; not artisans and crafts people.
And, perhaps worst of all; like so many craftsmen when confronted by an emerging technology, the bards saw the printing press as a passing fad. And so did not confront this technological marvel, nor adapt their storytelling system to its future.
The bards died off over 500 years ago, and their storytelling technology died with them.
Like an archeologist I had to dig the lost technology out of the ruins of ancient languages like; Latin, Greek, Old English, Old French, etc.
After 4 decades I have resurrected the secrets of the ancient storytellers and codified it in a simple system, the core of which is called, "The Story Engine".
Pieces of this technology are available on www.write-better-fiction.com
The complete system will be released soon.
Subscribers to the Write Better Fiction (WBFF) e-zine will be the first to be notified. Click here to subscribe or get left behind. The world of writing effective fiction is about to be set on fire.
*Bard - A professional poet and singer, as among the ancient Celts, whose occupation was to compose and sing verses in honor of the heroic achievements of princes and brave men. Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913), edited by Noah Porter.