Terry’s January Watercolour Writing Newsletter


That’s all for this disappointing month!

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Every Plot Point Must Test Your Character’s Beliefs

Writing a Novel?

Using plot points as a way to test and strengthen what your main character believes in will make their development more fulfilling.

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How Much Time You Need to Spend Promoting Your Novel

How many agents have you queried? One?

If it took you a year to write your first novel, then why wouldn’t you spend at least a year promoting it? The writing industry is extremely saturated, so finding an agent or publisher is all about persistence.

Kim Liao even suggests aiming for 100 rejection letters every year, because being persistent enough to get 100 rejections will also lead you on the path to getting an acceptance.

I haven’t found an agent for my first novel yet, but chipping away at that dream every day (47 rejections and counting!).

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Your Villain Is Just the Hero That Succumbed to Her Own Weakness

Having trouble writing your villain?

When I wrote my first novel, I focused so much on building up my main character that I seriously neglected my villain. Turns out my villain was as flat as a board and it seriously impacted my story (not in a good way). It wasn’t until I thought of my villain as the hero of his own story that I was able to make him come to life.

If you’re struggling with writing your villain, maybe this tip will help.

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Three Ways to Improve the Introduction of Your Story

If you’re looking to improve the first few chapters of your novel, here are three impactful ways that I’ve found make my introductions much more compelling.

Happy writing! 🙂

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Flash Fiction: Beverly Draws on Deck

Beverly Draws on Deck

A drop of sweat from my brow landed in my glass and I put my pen down. The ink was melting down the page, ruining the bird I had drawn. With a sigh, I skimmed through all my drawings from the trip so far – a smoking man, two dancing octopi, a smashed guitar.

A waitress appeared and offered me another drink.

“Away,” I shooed, still a bit annoyed that my art would never be recovered now.

She scuttled off like a little hermit crab in her high heels and short skirt and picked at the back of her blouse. It was completely soaked.

The alarm finally went off and I looked around the room. The tables were red, the walls and floor were red, the musicians were red. I looked to my husband as a single tear trailed down his cheek before evaporating in a puff of steam. Even that was red too. The giant warning light on the ceiling made everything red. It really wasn’t needed at this point.

“Excuse me, darling,” I said, dabbing my brow with a hanky. “This colour really isn’t doing anything for me. I’m going on deck for inspiration.”

“Indeed, Bev,” he huffed, a dry cough in his voice. Neither of us acknowledged the impending doom.

I passed some friends we had made earlier in our trip. We exchanged pleasantries with sad eyes and I wished them well (what foolishness). The viewing deck was bare and the heat glared in through the glass making it unbearably hot. I checked my pocked barometer.

130 degrees

131 degrees

132 degrees

The temperature climbed dangerously as we spun out of control. In one direction the sun ever growing larger. In the other, clouds of smoke streamed out into space. We had hit an icesteroid while on our leisurely cruise to Mars.

“Impenetrable,” the newspaper had advertised. “Climb aboard the luxurious Titanic 3000 for a trip of a lifetime!”

Oh the irony.

I took out my pen and paper and drew the sun, my last piece of art.