The Journey to a Bestseller: Essential Scenes in Every Story- Part Two- First Battle/Midpoint and New Covers (Series #14)

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Hey everybody! Sorry I’m late this week. I’ve been a busy bee. I recently made new covers for my books because they weren’t selling well. And those buyers were not rejecting my book based on context, they don’t even know what my book says. They were scrolling through the books, looking for a picture that grabbed them, and when they see one they like, they read the title, and click to read what it’s about. So there are two things readers judge the book by: the cover, and the description. Some people call it your blurb. I call it sales copy. It’s all the same thing. A pitch.

Well, I redesigned my covers from this:

To these:

A forgotten race of mages, being kept as slaves.

A secret war the people have been made to forget.

And I’m the key to unlocking the truth.

My desire for peace led me to become a warrior. First I get visions that start coming true, then thugs start trying to kill me. As I unravel my parents’ secrets, I’m sucked into a secret life with Keron, a biomechanical hottie, who just happened to reject me three years ago. Awkward, I know.

When I develop powers of my own, I still don’t know where I belong…but if I can’t find the machine the Source Wizard’s been searching for all my life, an entire dimension of people will die.

I’m a warrior, a princess, and a mage.
And war awaits me…

The Source Wizard Gasten is using my visions to find the machine. The race is on. He only knows what the cave entrance looks like, not the location. But I do. When I find the machine, I will go to Garrith and set my people free.
But if he finds it first, the slaves will die- or be turned into machines that he will order to march into new dimensions, enslaving the people there, while Gasten sucks their magic dry. And it will be my fault.

I can’t afford to lose before the war.

What do you think? Better? Do they grab your attention? Covers are not meant to tell a story, they are meant to tell genre and age range, and then excite those readers, or elicit an emotional response when they see it. The question is, if you saw these covers on a page with other YA fantasy romances, would it interest you? Would you click to read what it’s about?

I also redid the manuscripts because book one had nothing at the end, and book two had the first chapter of book one at the end. Which is kind of stupid. So I put the next book’s first chapter at the end.

But, when I took it to my publisher, he said they wouldn’t change it. He said, essentially, I own the book and I get to choose what is done with it. I knew I needed to get my rights back. So I told them I’d like to terminate our contract and they told me it would cost $1907. I had to get a loan, and that will be my Christmas present this year, but I got my rights back, finally. YAY! So I self-published my first two books. I think Amazon is still getting the books joined together with the first edition.

Unfortunately, I just had some promo materials made, that have the right covers, but they switched my ASIN numbers, so the “Buy Here” addresses don’t work now. And it’s gone to the printer, so I can’t fix it. I will have to get creative with that. Maybe print a little sticker that says the right site addresses, but my printer broke last week. Grrr.

I also got hired as an editor for Touchpoint Press recently, so I need to hurry this blog along so I can read manuscripts. I am so excited to be working as an editor!

The Clockwork pen

During all that, I did find time to write on the WIP. So let’s get to it. We’ve gone through the ordinary world, through the inciting incident and the point of no return. Now we have the first battle. This needs to be the protagonist’s fault, someone needs to be injured in some way. It could be emotional, but for a first battle, it’s generally something physical. In our book, there are actually two small battles that happen together.

The first one is the king’s way of calling out the Resistance by torturing Sira’s nanny, Alva, in the square. When they go to rescue her, Sira is recognized by one of the soldiers and doesn’t want to go back to the castle, so she stays with Wyll. They call a big meeting to plan their strategy, which is exactly what the king wants. That’s why he put a chip in Wyll’s wrist.

Kipper, the mini mechanic

So when they meet, the soldiers come, and the people are like a barrel of fish to a fisherman. They are shot while Sira is dragged away. We meet Kipper and Nally. Kipper is a miniature mechanic, he can fix the smallest clockwork. And Nally is the king’s baker. They are both instrumental in the Resistance. After the shooting, Wyll and Sira stay at a farm on the outskirts of the city. The beginning of love starts to tingle. Things are going well.

Nally, the King’s baker

Until they decide it must be a mole who betrayed them. Not only do they choose to use a mole of their own, but they are going to torture a few people that they suspect, to find out who told the king about the meeting. Wyll can’t have them torture anyone because he knows it’s his fault. When he confesses, though, Sira is outraged. She is hurt, and feels betrayed and leaves him to go back to the castle.

They are confident the king won’t hurt her because he doesn’t really believe she is one of them. Wyll has lost her just as he was starting to feel something. He has to be near her, so Nally lets him come work in the kitchens at the castle. This is the midpoint.

the Castle

At the midpoint, your character shifts from victim to tentative warrior. They accept their role in the story and know they should fight for their goal. They might still be hesitant. Wyll is sorry, he knows they are both wanting the same thing, to get back to the real world. But he has no idea how to make that happen. Up to this point he hasn’t taken responsibility for anything. He has no guilt, no stakes. Now, he begins to take action, where before he was just reacting to the weirdness around him. Now it’s his story, too. And with some reservations, he is beginning to see his role.

This could be the place where you learn more about the antagonist. Their identity is revealed, and what they want. Your main character, in response, reevaluates themselves and decides to improve. If your story has a big reveal, this is the time to do it. A lot needs to happen from this point. Although it is called a “midpoint” in the story structure, I feel like it’s more like one-third done. There is a LOT of book that makes up the next three points.

We’ll probably do the last three points one at a time, depending on how much writing time I have. If you are writing along with me, get to your midpoint where the character finds their place. My word count thus far is: 30,279, so you see, If I write a 75K word novel, I am almost halfway there.

Keep writing and I’ll talk to you over the weekend!


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4 thoughts on “The Journey to a Bestseller: Essential Scenes in Every Story- Part Two- First Battle/Midpoint and New Covers (Series #14)

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