3 Tips for Writing a Novel

“You can’t write a novel all at once, any more than you can swallow a whale in one gulp.” – Orson Scott Card

Have you always wanted to write a novel? Planning to write a long work of fiction is the perfect time to craft the story you’ve always wanted to read. What are your favorite parts of the novels you love and how would you make them better? Now is your opportunity to craft a masterpiece. Here are 3 novel writing tips to help make your idea a bestseller!

Photo Courtesy of: Chris

Photo Courtesy of: Chris

3 Novel Writing Tips

  1. Know Your Characters

One of the best novel writing tips is to know your characters and outline who they are as much as possible. You should create entire lives and personalities for them to make it easier for the readers to relate and care about them. Don’t give your readers a biographical profile of them, though. Use descriptive words to show how characters feel.

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How to Write a Mystery Novel

“Prose is architecture, not interior decoration.” – Ernest Hemingway

As a writer, if you know how to write a mystery novel, you can add to the diversity of your work. Reading a lot of mysteries can help you learn how to write one because most follow a specific formula. Here are 3 major elements to include when writing a mystery novel.

 Photo Courtesy of: Karoly Czifra


Photo Courtesy of: Karoly Czifra

Writing a Mystery Novel: 3 Things to Include

  1. The Crime

Start by mapping out the crime exactly as it happened, from start to finish. Imagine the characters involved and their emotions as the crime occurred. What does the crime scene look like? What time of day is it? Exactly how was the crime committed? This will help to make it as believable as possible when you craft the story. It will also help you “show” instead of “tell” your readers, which is important when writing a mystery novel.

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How to Write a Love Story

Everyone loves a great love story. But as a writer, how do you craft a story that is so real, it could have taken place in life? Some writing critics say that writing a love story today is harder than it was for Shakespeare because it was easier for obstacles to be placed between two star-crossed lovers in Shakespeare’s time due to rigid class distinctions. We may have less class-based obstacles in our society today, but writers can still place plenty of obstacles between two characters in the modern age and create a captivating love story. Here is how to write a love story using 4 essential elements.

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Photo Courtesy of Leah Jones

4 Steps to Writing a Love Story

1. Start an Adventure

Create a world (or two!) in which your characters will live. Dream up lots of details for your characters to interact with including the environment, time period and weather. Take time outside and observe the world around you. Imagine as if you were the main character, longing to meet your true love. What details would you be paying attention to?

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Famous FBI Cases – 3 Notorious Criminals

I love a good mystery! Some of the most famous crimes of all time were tackled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, commonly known as the FBI. Mystery, romance and power hungry criminals are some of the leading characters in the true stories that make up a few of the most famous cases in FBI history – and have been turned into bestselling books!

fbi pic for blog

Photo Courtesy of: FBI

Here are 3 of the most notorious criminal stories.

1. Kids & Crime: The image of a criminal usually doesn’t include a fresh-faced child or teenager, but some kids are among of the most infamous criminals chased by the FBI. The international criminal was known as the “Barefoot Bandit” was actually a 19 year-old named Colton Harris-Moore. The teenager was captured in 2010 after allegedly committing several crimes including trespassing and airplane theft. Harris-Moore’s adventures were immortalized in the 2012 book, “The Barefoot Bandit: The True Tale of Colton Harris-Moore, New American Outlaw,” by Bob Friel.

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[Audiobook teaser] “The Shaman and The Mafia”, Chapter 1

Watch out for the upcoming release of THE SHAMAN AND THE MAFIA audio book. In preparation for its release, I’m proud to share with you all a sneak peek.

Presenting Chapter 1 of THE SHAMAN AND THE MAFIA, wonderfully narrated by Will Kennedy.

Enjoy! xo Liz

Huffington Post UK interviews Liz about life in & out of the convent

Elizabeth Upton has been featured in Huffington Post UK, allowing us to get a glimpse on the author’s younger years in the convent as a Carmelite nun and eventually her path towards becoming a corrections officer and at present, a lecturer and author.

Click here to read the full interview!

What Happens When A Nun Has A Love Affair And Leaves Her Convent?

Liz Upton Reveals All

by Rachel Moss | 4 September

Read the whole interview here

Elizabeth Upton’s life may read like the script for a Hollywood film, but her incredible story is absolutely real.

Liz became a nun at the age of 16, but after many years of living in a New York convent, she embarked on a secret love affair which completely changed her life.

Since then, Liz has re-invented herself more times than Madonna. First she worked as probation officer, then a counselor. Now, California-born Liz has established herself as an author.

Hearing about Liz’s past, it seems like she has squeezed multiple lifetimes into just one. Her story can be an inspiration to us all, showing you don’t need to be defined by the choices you make early in life.

Liz chatted to us about her fascinating journey.

Liz says her unusual childhood was one of the major reasons she joined a convent in New York at the age of 16.

“When I turned 8 my mother re-married and her husband didn’t want us so we were put into an orphanage for two years.

“My time in the orphanage matured me – I had a real feel for people who suffered, from abandonment and rejection or from physical or emotional disorders,” she says.

Once Liz was back in the family home, her mother had a nervous breakdown, which also had a big impact on her own personal development.

“I ended up being a nun when I was quite young and I think it was due to the fact that although I was only 16 when I joined the convent, I really felt that spiritually and emotionally I was a twenty or thirty year old woman,” she adds.

[Audio] Episode 01

It’s rather exciting speaking to each and every one of you as it involves my most recent crime/romance novel–  THE SHAMAN AND THE MAFIA.  Personally I’ve always wanted to speak to authors whose book’s I’ve read, to know where they are coming from, what they do all day and how they live?  Most of all, how do authors come up with all their ideas being translated into fiction and non-fiction books.

I had not written books for several years. And I thought my days of writing were basically over, until one early morning when I popped out of bed, near tripped over my dog, Sir Winston, and hurried to my computer. For the next year I began writing in a free flowing style just for the sheer joy of creating fascinating fiction characters going in all kinds of winding directions.

When this creative adventure was done, it was then that I made the decision to publish THE SHAMAN AND THE MAFIA book and this other process took a while. As you might surmise, I do have more going on in my life in addition to writing. Through the years all of my books have been written for you the readers, to enjoy and ponder, and to share this novel with your friends. The purpose of my website is to provide you with an interactive source of information and of communicating through the discussion board, videos, and audios. I want you to enjoy the book’s video book trailer.

Being an author continues is an astonishing learning process. The entire adventure of launching THE SHAMAN AND THE MAFIA into a world of digital, electronic technology, and the social media that is constantly changing will always be challenging and exhilarating.

Enjoy THE SHAMAN AND THE MAFIA, and also it’s book video trailer. In the months ahead I will share more with you, and response to your comments on the discussion blog.

Be good to yourself—-Elizabeth

FemaleFirst.com exclusive interview with Lucy Walton

Elizabeth Upton | Female First exclusive interview

Dear readers,

It’s been an exciting month! I recently got featured in an exclusive interview with renowned UK women’s magazine Female First.

I had the pleasure of being interview by the wonderful Lucy Walton and in this interview, we explored my backgrounds in Psychology and social work and how it influenced my writing of fiction and non-fiction novels.

Please enjoy!

Exclusive interview with Elizabeth Upton

by Lucy Walton | 

Read the whole interview here

The Shaman and the Mafia is a crime-romance novel. The story involves Marietta Collins, who left the cloistered life to be independent and free of religious restraints. She heads a youth drug rehab centre and is dedicated to ridding the community of the growing criminal element and restoring it to the pleasant tourist town it once was. As the story opens, Marietta learns that Joseph Gleason, a friend and drug informant, who was secretly in love with her, has been brutally murdered, the victim of a mafia hit. In the course of the investigation she meets the victim’s brother, FBI assistant director Raymond Gleason. There’s an instant attraction between the two and he becomes her first lover. Raymond gives FBI agent Jerry Young, who is also his best friend, the responsibility of investigating the murder and hunting down the mafia’s kingpin. He discovers that the mob boss, who also has ties to the Russian mafia in Florida, is involved in underage prostitution, illicit drugs and a string of murders. While the story revolves around Marietta, Jerry, and Raymond, there are several other personalities dealing with conflicted emotions in the world of corruption, murder, and depravity. This is an action-packed crime-drama and love story that also examines the conflicted emotions of the characters as they try to make sense of their lives through the web of crime, darkness and light

You write both fiction and non-fiction so do you have a preference between the two?

Presently I am enjoying writing fiction with another fiction book coming out in 2015. However, my varied life and eclectic list of life experiences always influence my fiction writing and manage to find their way into the characters’ storylines. I feel my life enriches my fiction writing. However, saying that it’s extremely therapeutic writing non-fiction or memoirs gives you a chance to reflect on the lives you’ve lived, those I’ve already completed will be republished during 2014 and 2015.

How much has your background in psychology helped you to better understand your characters?

I believe my education and enthusiasm for learning and wanting to understand what drives people’s motivations and behaviours has helped tremendously. However, nothing compared to my real life and work experience, beginning with when my sister and I were put in an orphanage for two years when we turned eight years old and experiencing those elements of society and psychology first hand.

Radio interview with WebbWeaver Books

I’m delighted to share my interview with WebbWeaver Books. So much fun talking about the adventures of Marietta. Please enjoy! Looking forward to sharing with you all more updates about The Shaman and The Mafia

xxo Liz

Check Out Books Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with WEBBWEAVER BOOKS on BlogTalkRadio
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