Robert M. Coles

Author, World Traveler, Public Speaker

Tag: writing

End Game

tumblr_static_writing450

My Rambling Thoughts On The Writing Process

So, I’ve been doing a lot of writing lately (other than the writing that I have to do for work and the book I have coming out in February) and for the first time in a long time, I think I’m going to push a fictional novel through the pipeline. Maybe I can “accidentally” send a draft to my publisher instead of the files for my other books. I’ve never been much of a novelist, but this one seems to be flowing through quite easily.

I’ve been noticing that I fall into a certain pattern with how I actually write. I’m curious to see how things turn out, and this is probably the first project in a few years that I’ve felt very strongly about because of the message I’m trying to get across.

Essentially, the story will be quite controversial. I’m writing about the after effects of a traumatic event, but I’m focusing on people that don’t exactly cope well. It’s sort of a story based on my experiences with people I’ve met mixed with some of the conspiracy theories I just can’t resist reading about. While I am by no means a conspiracy theorist, I still find it fascinating what people will say (and post on the internet) and find that there is more than enough information out there for anyone to spin anyway they want.

Back to the point of this post, my writing process has changed greatly in the last few years. It’s gone from forcing myself to sit in front of the computer looking at the blinking cursor and wondering when something was going to hit me that was worthy of being written (especially when I’d write poetry or short stories) to more of a fluid process. I find that now I have to peel myself away from the computer because the story is flowing out of me, sometimes to0 quickly my fingers cant keep up with my thoughts.

People ask me all the time if I know what my ending will be to this current novel. There are a core group of friends that I trust enough to give the entire story to, and I always stop at a particular point, but the fact is that I don’t know. I know my characters (there are 12 characters that play a key role in the advancing of the present day plot, and 7 characters that play a key role in advancing the past plot) and I know what they want to say. They want to say everything I want to say. Everything that I would say if I was in their situation. Everything that I would want to say, and everything I couldn’t say.

The fact of the matter is that I have no clue how this story is going to end. I know the point of where the story will get close to ending, and I know ultimately the message I want to get across, but I feel it will happen when it happens. It isn’t something I’m going to be able to force. It’s something that is going to have to happen naturally.

I’m hoping to post a short section of the book on here sometime in the coming weeks. Until then, I’m interested to know about the processes other authors use when writing. Do you find that you have to force yourself to sit down and do everything at once? Do you know the outcome before you start? How do you get to know, and develop, your characters? I’d love to hear from you, so sound off below.

Content Overload: Setting Your Content Above The Rest

Originally written for Sona Creative Marketing by Robert Coles as a guest post.

Content Marketing Tips and Tricks From A Silly American

content-writingI don’t know about you, but I find myself constantly overloaded with content on the internet. Everyone is trying to sell something, there’s always a contest to enter, and someone is constantly trying to push a brand that you just don’t want to think about (like the Snuggie… Or is that just an American thing?), yet we as inquiring humans always want to know more.

With over 160 million blogs currently on the internet (only half of them are mine), and more and more being created each and every day, it’s difficult to weed through the quality content if you’re a reader. For a content marketer, this becomes a huge challenge, and it’s one that hasn’t entirely been solved yet. While we’re coming up with new way of marketing almost by the minute, the world hasn’t quite caught up to our brilliant minds.

We’re constantly having to come up with new methods of blog creation, and new ways to make our titles interesting. Simply put, if it isn’t interesting in the first 10 words, no one is going to read it. Fortunately, we content marketers have the numbers on our side, regardless. 46% of internet users read blogs more than once per day, and when marketing for businesses, that can convert to real leads, and real sales. Companies that blog have 55% more visits to their website than companies that don’t.

So what is the internet marketer to do? For starters, it’s about creating interesting content what will hold the reader’s attention. Check out these 5 ways to keep your content interesting and your audience begging for more.

#1 – Your titles are boring. Spice it up a bit!

If I read another “X Ways To Improve Your Business” article one more time, I’m going to throw my computer out my window and adopt a life without technology. Seriously, your titles matter. Consider coming up with something interesting. If you’re forced to write an article about ways to improve your business, think about what area you’ll be focusing on, and the spin it. If that article were to focus on ways to improve your business using social media, use a title like “X Ways Your Business is Failing (And How To Improve Them).” People are drawn to the negative, so use that to your advantage.

By the way, I did a Google search for the best blog titles and all I got were search results like “How to Write a Captivating Blog Title.” I didn’t click it.

#2 – Don’t forget mixed media. It can save your life.

In a world where 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, there will always be a video to spice up your content. The fact is, people are attracted to what they can easily see and watch. They don’t necessarily love reading anymore (and that’s a shame) so it’s important to spell things out for them. The best way to do that is with a video. If there isn’t a video out there, make one. With apps like Vine making short videos are easy, and if you want, you can use a website like fiverr.com to have a video created for you with graphics based on your script.

If videos aren’t your thing, no problem. Use infographics that drive your point home. You can also use screen captures if you’re referencing something you’ve found on the internet. For example, I wrote an article about social interaction, and included a screen capture of people interacting socially. It’s that simple. People just want to be able to see what they’re reading, rather than actually read what they’re reading.

#3 – Talk as you. Not about you.

People want to hear your voice rather than your life story. Sure, you should write with your own personal flare, and almost make fun of yourself (coming from the silly American), but people don’t want to hear about your life and what you ate for dinner. That’s what Facebook is for. Instead, consider telling about a product or service that you’re marketing in your own tone, but don’t insert personal stories about Aunt Cathy’s hip surgery.

#4 – Stay consistent

If you’re going to take a stance on something, stick to it, especially if you’re talking about a theory. People are going to site you and use your word as a source. If people end up linking to your blog, or your client’s blog, you are going to want to make sure that one blog post doesn’t contradict another. You’ve just made yourself or your client look ridiculous.

When you’re blogging, its also very important that you use consistency in your grammar, punctuation, and style. You can change things up a bit, but not too much. Your readers are going to get accustomed to your style, and if you change things too much they’re going to rebel. You’d be surprised how many people actually do read your words.

#5 – Offer a unique point of view

With over 160 million blogs on the internet, there are bound to be repeated views, but if you can find a way to present a unique point of view you’re going to captivate your readers. For some of my clients, I write the every day business blog because that’s what they want, but for others I have the freedom to experiment with humor and stylistic choices.

Content marketing is still very young in the marketing world, but it’s growing quickly, and staying ahead of the curve with your writing will ensure that you ride the content wave smoothly to the finish line. Good luck!

© 2018 Robert M. Coles

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑