This Is Perhaps My Favorite Writing Tip to Share

I love reading book and movie reviews. To me, they’re more exciting than the trailer itself, because they don’t give much away; they just tell you wha to expect.

Because I like reviews so much and I am an author, I start my books AFTER they are written.

Let me explain.

Before I start writing, I imagine the book is complete and I open up the computer to look it up on Amazon to read the reviews. What kinds of reviews do I want to read about my books?

With The Man in the Box I really wanted to evoke a strong sense of suspense and tension. I wanted, above all, to put the readers on the edge of their seats. I wanted them to be so gripped and hooked by the story that they couldn’t put it down for the life of them.

And so, when writing, I always had that end goal in mind. Did I succeed? Let the readers Untitledspeak for themselves:

Cherese Vines of Charming Words wrote: “This was a heart-stopping suspense adventure like I haven’t read in a long time.” 

Danielle E. Shipley of Ever On Word raved: The suspense had me on the edge of my seat … heart thumping out of control the whole time, except for that one minute where it almost stopped.”

Ken Stewart of Ken Stewart’s Blog said: I finished it in a day. I had a hard time putting it down.”

Don’t bother looking for it online as I’m currently revamping it for a possible second edition.

Even with my YA book, These Great Affects, the sole purpose of it is to make people cry. The lady who was going to edit it told me she doesn’t cry easily, and I told her this would do it. She read it and she told me she cried. Success! I made a girl cry! (Storytellers are really very warped sometimes.)

The point is, write with your reader’s feelings and emotions in mind. What do you want them to say after they read your book? How do you want them to feel by the time they close the last page? Write toward that end, and it will be like a light in the distance across a dark ocean of unknowns.

Follow that light.

Follow me on Twitter: @atoy1208 and Facebook and watch my adventure in starting my own publishing company! 


About Andrew Toy
I'm in the beginning stages of starting my own publishing company that's unlike anything you've ever heard of in the industry. The direction of AdoptingJames is taking a 90-degree turn and will be more writing/publishing-focused. Stay tuned for huge updates and exciting news!

31 Responses to This Is Perhaps My Favorite Writing Tip to Share

  1. I aim to make readers laugh and bring some magic into their lives. If the story doesn’t do that for me while I’m writing it, I know it won’t do it for anyone reading it. My biggest fear when I start a new project is that I won’t feel any magic.

  2. pbrider says:

    I write ‘hot wife/girlfriend’ erotica, so the headline aim is to arouse readers and deliver on whatever the title or set-up promises. At a text level I want readers to be quickly drawn into the world – to be gripped on the first page and then keep turning until there’s a lot of tension to be released (in this way erotica is a lot like horror or thrillers). Anything that doesn’t move things forward in this manner tends to be cut out in the final edits, no matter how nicely written.

    Overall I want my stories to get into the heads of readers and excite them, to become starting points for their own sexual fantasies – so they think about my work when in bed with their partners – and to encourage them to watch less porn (for some ethical reasons, but also for the general health issue of having a good sexual imagination).

  3. Gpicks says:

    Reblogged this on Gpicks and commented:
    First of all, I’m thanking adoptingjames for this amazing read. I loved how the tone of voice was writen, and I think I can learn a great deal from what he has written.

    So, If you’re a blogger, a writer or even though you haven’t decided yet. Check this reblogged entry from adopting james!

    I know I liked where my eyes were lead.

  4. Your book sounds great! So it can’t be found on Amazon or in the library at this time?

  5. ameliemurphy says:

    It’s a very scary and daunting prospect for me, putting my book ‘out there’. When I read a book I enjoy I can’t put it down. It would be amazing for someone to say they are as gripped by my story. Or at least for some recognition of the hard work and effort that has gone into it. The harsh reality is, there will be haters. I know I will need to develop a thick skin and not take negative reviews to heart. In the words of Taylor Swift ‘Shake it off’.

  6. Great advice! I love it! Can’t wait until you finish the revamp. I’ll have to read “The Man in the Box.”

  7. Hyperion says:

    An excellent approach. I can always sense the quality of my writing. When I finish the first draft and it leaves me feeling, so what, who cares then I know it’s time to make some changes. I don’t always get it right but I never walk away satisfied when I know it’s wrong.

  8. Penelope Baldwin says:

    I love this idea! Especially because I love to read reviews. I spend way more time than I should reading Amazon reviews before I buy a book. I don’t even mind the ones with spoilers! I like to know what I’m getting into when I invest my time reading a book. Plus, I need to know if someone dies in the book. It’s kinda my thing.

    • Lol, Spoilers don’t bother me too, too much. I avoid them when I can, but if I know certain things are going to happen, I then become transfixed on the events that leads up to said spoiler.

  9. Zoe Younger says:

    Great tip! Thanks for sharing.

  10. “Before I start writing, I imagine the book is complete.”

    I love this statement. I’m writing children’s picture books and I always try and keep the end result in mind but this goes one better and focuses on the details in between. It really made me think about what reaction I want to see from my readers and how I want them to feel about the books. I concluded that I want them to go back to it again and again because they have laughed and they have learnt about their world through a fun and funny way.

  11. Nice! I imagine keeping that review in mind will also help you keep on track with your main goals in the piece you’re writing.

  12. codemadness says:

    Wow! Its good to k ow you’re an author I have this dream of writing my own book in the near future. This post inapired me to go for it! I will definitely check your books 🙂

  13. Pingback: Sad puppies, Christmas failures and other writing links (#SFWApro) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  14. Interesting concept. I’ll have to try it 🙂

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