"" Rob Parnell's Writing Academy Blog: January 2013

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Author "Bribes" Readers to Read His Book

Dear Fellow Writer,

Today, I am unashamedly bribing you to read my NEW book:

See below for details on all the FREE goodies I'm willing to give you -  if you can help me make Kindred a bestseller!

Kindred by Rob Parnell

Yep, that's the cover up there. Pretty cool, huh?

It's 349 pages of thrills, chills and suspense.  You're gonna love it! I guarantee this is my best work of fiction yet! Three years in the making - written and edited to perfection.

And if you go over to Kindle right now and get it, I will send you the following FREE GIFTS - worth a few hundred bucks at least:

1. "How to Write and Plot a Thriller" A full course

2. "How to Write and Plot a Horror Story" A full course

3. "How to Make Money Writing"
A 51 page report

4. "How to Get What You Want"  A 32 page report

5. "Attract Money Now" a 165 page ebook 

6. "Writer's Block Solved" a 18 page report 

Is this enough to tempt you?

I hope so!

Think about it. Not only are you getting a great thriller to read in your spare time - written by someone you like and respect (uh, that's me?) but you'll also get lots of free stuff to help you in your personal life and your writing career!

It's a win win!

All you have to do is go here:

Then, when you've got the book, email me your receipt from Amazon - or just quote the reference number, and I'll immediately let you have all the above resources completely FREE.

Can you do that for me now? Click HERE.

Okay, you might be thinking: what's the catch?

Well, there's none really, except the book will cost you just under $7. 

If that's a catch to you then I'm clearly wasting my time! Less than seven measly dollars? You can barely buy a coffee for that these days! 

BTW, if you already have a KIndle reader, you can borrow it for free!

If you are any kind of published author, you'll know how hard it is to get people to read your books. Even your friends and family can show reluctance when you finally have the manuscript finished!

I know there are a million other books you could read apart from mine. 

I know it! All of us authors know it.

So what if it's a low down tactic to offer bribes to potential readers?

We've all got to get the ball rolling somehow. 

Books are read because people recommend them. Pure and simple.

And that's what I want you to do!

Get my book, Kindred, read and thoroughly enjoy it. Then, hopefully, you'll mention it to someone else and the snowball will start to roll.

Help me out here!

There's really no reason not to because you can only benefit from all the other stuff I'm sending you!

Don't have a Kindle reader?

You don't need one! Just go HERE to download a free Kindle reader for your computer.

Perhaps you're one of those Apple people who have a MAC. No problem, you can get a free Kindle reader for a MAC HERE

Need a free Kindle Reader for your iPad? Sure thing. Go HERE

You can probably tell I'm trying to make this as easy as possible for you! You have no more excuses, right?

Go HERE to get KINDRED - and hundreds of dollars worth of FREEBIES are yours to keep. No catches.

And if you want to tell your friends about Kindred, then great, feel free to Twitter a message. Let your friends on all the social networks like Facebook, Linked In and Google+ know all about my special offer today.

I'd really appreciate your help to make Kindred a bestseller.

Pretty please!

Again, this is what you'll get:

1. "How to Write and Plot a Thriller" A full course
2. "How to Write and Plot a Horror Story" A full course
3. "How to Make Money Writing"
A 51 page report
4. "How to Get What You Want"  A 32 page report
5. "Attract Money Now" a 165 page ebook 
6. "Writer's Block Solved" a 18 page report  

All this for just purchasing my latest thriller, KINDRED.

Many thanks for reading.

I'm looking forward to getting your receipt!
Keep writing!
 rob at home


"A professional is someone who respects his trade, tries as hard as he can to perfect his work, and realizes that one failure isn’t the end of the world. Or two…or three." Nathaniel Benchley

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Aim for Perfection

Art is not a race. Nobody wins by getting something out there first. 

The work that succeeds is often not the most original. It is the work that is finely honed to perfection before it gets released.
There's really only one duty writers owe to themselves and their readers - and that is to constantly strive to improve.

Ask any seasoned writer and they'll tell you that getting better at the craft is probably the most fulfilling aspect of writing. Because you are effectively getting better at communicating your ideas - and placing your world view into the minds of others. To me this is an almost magical concept.

So - constant improvement - how does one achieve it? Here are nine short tips:

1. Read Like it's Going Out of Fashion

You've heard it a million times before. You can't love writing without first loving to read. Read a lot. Read everything. Analyze writing and writers. Study what works, what doesn't, wonder why and learn from it.

Realize too that the published writing you see has probably been worked and reworked over and over to appear effortless. 

Don't assume professional writers get it down perfect every time. 

They don't. 

Their work too has been analyzed, edited and beaten into shape by themselves and other editors.

2. Study Your Own Writing

Study every word, every sentence, every phrase. Are you maximizing the effect of your words? Could you say the same thing a different way? 

Don't just blindly accept your words as perfect. Professionals knows there is always another way of stating something, setting a scene, capturing an emotion. 

Too many novice writers fall in love with their words, refusing to accept there might be a better way to get to what is true.

3. Learn to Love Criticism

When we start out, criticism hurts - big time. We've bared our soul. We've agonized over our words and are proud of what we've said. Off-hand comments about our work can feel like a body slam, even an attack on our capabilities, our character, our integrity. 

But that's not what is going on. People love to criticize - it's human nature. Even the best writers are criticized. The point is to learn from criticism and rise above it. Listen to what is being said, make changes if necessary but do it for yourself. You are the final arbiter - but don't be blind or sulky about it. Take it all on board.

4. Read Aloud to Others

Reading out loud can highlight the strengths and weaknesses within your writing. Especially in the areas of rhythm, wordiness and dialogue. It's a great test.

Read to friends and family, yes, but also read to other writers. Let them make comments. Enjoy the process.

Try this. 

Read a short piece to a group of friends/writers. Make note of how your writing sounds to them. Listen to suggestions. Make changes, read it aloud again. Keep doing this until everyone involved thinks the writing - every word, every phrase - is perfect.

5. Try Different Styles

It's too easy to get stuck in one area of expertise. If you're a fiction buff, try writing magazine articles or screenplays. If you're a journalist, try free-form fiction. If you're a literary type, try writing advertising copy. Don't limit yourself. 

All types of writing are good in their own way and experimenting with them can teach you little tricks that help you become a more mature, fully rounded writer.
Novice writers tend to think they shouldn't experiment, that somehow it might taint their art. Nothing could be further from the truth. 

6. Take Courses, Read More Books on Writing

The process of being taught, of exposing yourself to the ideas of others, cannot be underestimated. Even if you disagree with what is being said, it all helps stretch you and give you a deeper understanding of what is good and right for your writing.

When you take lessons in writing, study hard, do the exercises, listen to the feedback, act on it and write some more. Your writing will improve the more you do it. Don't sit and fret over your writing. 

Thinking about writing is NOT writing. Just do it.

7. Seek Out Good Advice

I often hear novice writers complain that they're learning nothing new about writing from the various authorities they consult. They sound disillusioned, as if perhaps there's more pertinent information out there, somewhere, if only they could find it.

Odd. considering I've never met a seasoned writer who didn't love to debate the absolute basics of word-play, grammar, sentence structure and all the other little things that novices seem to grow so weary of hearing - and doing nothing about!

Remember. You can never hear good advice too many times.

8. Give Back

Share your knowledge. Teach what you have learned about writing to others. Too often novice writers can feel there's some sort of clique of professionals who don't want to talk to them or associate with them.

We writers, whatever our abilities, must learn to see ourselves as a community with similar aims - to actively enhance all our writing - to raise the bar and to act for the betterment of all writers.

9. Constantly Want More From Yourself

Stretch yourself continuously. Find new ways of expressing yourself.

Writing is sometimes a strange past-time. A writing project that begins like an adventure can quickly become an obsession that ends up feeling like some self inflicted curse!

But all writing experience is good, whether it's fun or not. Not all of your writing is going to be fun and fulfilling. Some of it may be a hard slog or a nuisance. 

This is okay.

If you want to succeed in writing, it should become your life, your passion, even your reason to be. It's a fine and noble way of life. If you want it, embrace it, and your writing will benefit enormously. 

Best of luck and - whatever you do - 

Keep writing!
Rob Parnell

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Writing QED

Dear Fellow Writer,

Interesting that Fifty Shades of Grey was the bestselling book series of 2012. 

Made an estimated $200 million worldwide. A profound success for a self published book - later picked up by Random House, of course. (And who ever said a respectable publisher would never touch a self published book. Hah!)

Curious too that such a blatantly pornographic development of the Twilight story with all its disturbing sado-masochistic connotations should become so popular.

Perhaps the appeal of 50 Shades is in the apparent powerlessness of the heroine. Though she's horribly abused and degraded by her 'lover', she finds him captivating and impossible to live without. 

To me this is almost a metaphor for our relationship with the modern world. We all feel powerless in a sense, victims of a constant barrage of insanity, corruption and media exploitation that we eventually feel we can't live without.

A kind of global Stockholm Syndrome - where the aggressors are the greedy corporate machines that have an insatiable need for our 'love'  - or rather our hard earned cash!

Just a thought...

Click on the link below to get today's special offer. Now you can learn how to emulate the success of 50 Shades - for just $11!

The Write Stuff


Writing Q.E.D.

Rob Parnell

Good fiction is about forward thrust.

It's your job to propel the reader through your story without having them feel they are wading through your writing. In fact, your ultimate aim is somehow make the reader feel they're not actually reading at all.

It's what I call transparency - the idea that there is nothing between your reader's mind and your story - nothing as ugly as the text getting in the way!

Q.E.D. is a little acronym you might want to use to help you remember what you need to create compelling fiction on every page of your stories. Q.E.D. stands for:




Questions encourage people to look for answers. When readers read fiction they are asking themselves a series of questions about your characters and about your story.

Only when you satisfy your reader by feeding questions and later on providing answers will the reader feel entertained.

As you're writing, at the beginning of each new page, ask yourself, What question am I going to place in the reader's mind here?

You must have one – it’s what makes the reader keep reading.

Without constantly stoking curiosity, a reader will simply get bored and put your book down - forever.

Empathy is crucial too. We've looked at this in many of my courses.

Not only is it important that you create empathy for your characters early on, but you will also need to keep reinforcing it as you go.
Hopefully the actions that your characters make will take care of some of this. But you should be aware that if you feel your characters slipping away from you, it’s probably because you’re not keeping them human enough - that is vulnerable - to be compelling.
A reader’s total empathy with a character can be powerful. 

It is the hallmark of all good fiction writers. To create a hero that is credible and popular is the goal of most leading authors. Because once you’ve done that, you can take your readers almost anywhere with them.

When it’s done well, the reader is totally in your thrall and will trust you to take them further, on the adventure that is your novel, or series of novels.

Use it consciously. Readers rarely spot that you’re doing it deliberately. They only know what they like and that is, for the time they are reading, they probably like being your lead character.

Lastly, D is for Drama. 

It’s important that you create drama, conflict and tension at least once on every page. It’s the way of modern fiction.

People want to be entertained. But they’ve seen it all before. On TV and at the movies. Try to think of new ways of being dramatic.

Don't get bogged down with description. You don’t need long explanations or descriptions of things your reader is already familiar with. It’s just not necessary.

Readers want to be thrown into the thick of things immediately. There are a hundred ways to do that but most of them involve action, conflict and drama. If you find yourself wandering from the point and nothing in particular is happening, cut back to where the last piece of conflict was, delete all the verbiage and static writing and move off again – this time at high speed!

Imagine you’re a soap opera writer where every scene counts, and every exchange is emotionally charged. Try not to sink into melodrama – but be aware that you’re writing primarily to entertain.

At the beginning and ending of every new page ask yourself:

Q.E.D? Have I fulfilled the three requirements of compelling fiction?

If the answer is yes then you’re probably on the way to becoming the next bestselling author!

Till next time.
Keep writing!
 rob at home


"A professional is someone who respects his trade, tries as hard as he can to perfect his work, and realizes that one failure isn’t the end of the world. Or two…or three." Nathaniel Benchley
Previous Newsletter includes:
Article: "Know Your Identity in 2013

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Know Your Identity

It's often said we don't get what we want, we get what we need.

And what we need is the stuff that keeps us sane, the reinforcement of what we believe in - whether it's true or not. 

We need to believe that our view of the world is the right one - so we tend to attract the things that support our world view - whether it's wrong or right.

If we want to grow and change for the better, making lists of what we want is not always that helpful - if we don't sincerely believe those things are achievable.

Better to dream - to fantasize about the people we want to become - rich, successful, thin - and the benefits and advantages we will have when we become that person.


Know who you are and what you want and you're on the right track for success.

According to recent studies, most people have very little sense of identity.

They meander through life simply being - and exerting little real influence over their destiny.

Most people waste their energy on all the trivial things like earning a living, following a fashion or a cult, getting on (or arguing) with the relatives, sorting out food and drink and entertainment (and drugs) for themselves and stupid stuff like squabbling with the neighbors or gossiping with friends about nothing... all the things that don't really amount to a hill of beans.

But the minority who are aware of their identity - and have a more clearly focused view of themselves as a 'someone', tend not to get involved in much beyond furthering their personal aims, improving on the world and seeing themselves as part of a complex web of creation and destruction that we are required to interact with.

Doing, in other words, instead of just being.

Trouble is, a sense of identity can also be a curse.

Sociopathic people have apparently a very strong sense of identity.

So much so they want the whole world - or at least the people they meet - to bow down and believe everything they say, no matter how absurd.

Labeling yourself as a victim is harmful psychologically. Seeing yourself as a victim invites others to see you the same way - and pick on you.

Feeling like a failure invites more failure.

Being convinced the whole world is out to get you creates a world that is - at least for you.


In business, success begets confidence, which enables more success.

On a personal level, being able to love unconditionally creates trust, which begets deeper relationships - unless you're partnered with a sociopath...

Identity is a double edged sword, cutting both ways.

So what will happen when you're finally able to label yourself as a writer, a filmmaker, a musician, or an artist?

Does your world view change?


Does your destiny change?


Because everything becomes relative to your identity. 

No longer are you a leaf floating in the wind, you're the tree, holding your ground.

When you know who you are and what you want, you can change things.

Indeed, that's the definition of being an artist: someone who manipulates the things around them to create something else.

Someone who improves on reality.

Someone who sees reality for what it is. 

Not an endless merry go round of pointless distractions or a place where you involve yourself with other people's nonsense...

But a world with endless possibilities.

For improvement, personally, professionally and artistically.

It's a subtle difference that doesn't make sense or become clear until you hone in on your identity.

Who are you?

What do you want?

Ask yourself these questions every day.

Be specific.

Take action based on your answers.

That's the secret of true success.

Because what you get will then be what you want AND what you need.

The action part is the kicker - the catch if you like.

Because you must do what you define yourself as.

If you call yourself a nurse, you must nurse.

If you call yourself a builder, you must build.

If you call yourself a writer, you must write.

Too often people like the label but don't act on the identity.

Be your identity.

And go for it.

Till next time.

Keep writing!

The Writing Academy

Welcome to the official blog of Rob Parnell's Writing Academy, updated weekly - sometimes more often!