C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

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Fight Club: How 6 Rules of Combat Will Make You a Winning Writer

The mind virus is created. Spread the infection. Each of five episodes is only 99 cents each. Get the whole Season for the discount at $3.99. (And if you already have read it, please review it.) Thanks! ~ Chazz

The mind virus is created. Spread the infection. Each of five episodes is only 99 cents each. Get the whole Season for the discount at $3.99. (And if you already have read it, please review it.) Thanks! ~ Chazz

I’m teaching my son hand-to-hand combat. He’s such a friendly, funny, sweet little guy, I’m sure his character will keep him out of lots of fights. However, there are things to learn that are applicable to the forces you and I combat. For instance, it’s often easy to predict who will win a street fight. Similarly, I can tell you why some authors will win the fight to have their work discovered.

The bigger person usually wins the fight.

The fighting analogy is obvious, but it applies to our book ventures, too. If you have published many books, you’re in more Also boughts. More shelf space means easier discoverability. The longer your book is available, the more sales it will eventually accrue. (My bestseller is still my first book.)

If you aren’t big yet, write more good books.

The person who strikes first usually wins the fight.

I’d rather my son run from any fight, but if threatened with no escape route, hit fast and hit hard and hit first. End it before the drunk gets a head of steam on the courage he got from a bottle.

If you got into self-publishing early (i.e. before the Amazon algorithms changed) or if you were a popular traditionally published author, you have the advantage of experience and legacy. You had a profile. You still have an advantage now. You hit early, hard and first. You’re still feeling the benefits of throwing the first punch.

The person who is better prepared wins the fight.

A trained fighter has an obvious advantage over a novice. The trained fighter will be less likely to panic when things go wrong and will know how to compensate for a temporary reversal of fortune. After losing sparring matches in training, the experienced fighter has knowledge that will allow victory.

Similarly, if a writer has written a long time, he or she will not lose confidence at a temporary setback. Sometimes you have no idea what happens next in your story and you’ve written yourself into a corner. Once you’ve written yourself into a corner many times, you don’t give up so quickly when you meet the problem again. You recognize opportunities or make new ones.

The person who is willing to do what it takes to win, will. 

Most people are unwilling to do the nasty things you do to end a fight decisively. Most fights start when an idiot tries to intimidate someone, but the bully often doesn’t really want to fight. There’s a good reason no one really wants to fight. It hurts. Even if you win, you’ll very likely have tooth marks on your knuckles.

You guessed it. Many people who say they want to write, don’t. Experienced writers get bored when someone complains they don’t have enough time to write or they have writer’s block. In most cases, that’s the sound of someone unwilling to put in the time to write, edit, revise, polish and publish.

Serious writers grapple with issues of craft, marketing and business. Serious writers have much more challenging time management problems than merely beginning to write. We do what we have to do. That always means sacrifice. 

The fighter with more muscle usually wins.

Even a trained, experienced fighter can be taken out by a shot with heft behind it. 

For the writer, skills are our muscle. We know what a gerund is and how it relates to passive voice. We can avoid a lot of problems because we have an ear for dialogue or paid attention to basic grammar rules in school. These skills keep you in the fight for readers’ attention longer.

The first rule of Fight Club is: Do not talk about Fight Club! 

Fighters don’t build up to the fight. That’s macho posturing and a sign of a silly bully, not a fighter. Talking is not where our energies are best employed (unless we’re being kind to each other.)

Fighters fight.

Writers write.

Filed under: author platform, book marketing, publishing, self-publishing, Writers, writing tips, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Top Ten: My best fight

I’m so happy with my new fight scene from Higher Than Jesus.

Here’s why:

Check out all the books by Robert Chazz Chute here.

1. My first draft of this chapter was too easy on the protagonist. I wanted to show that Jesus had skills. He’s not a lame sad sack, though he is subject to Murphy’s Law: If something can go wrong, it will. This seems particularly true of my Cuban hit man Jesus Diaz. When I went revised, the chapter doubled in length to a much more tense and intense sequence.

2. I needed to use this scene to show that the heroine was worth fighting for. I really dislike stories where the heroine is merely an interchangeable object who, when things get dicey, can’t be depended upon. There are already too many stories out there where the guy fights the bad guy while the woman runs away, is tied up, twists an ankle, or presses herself against a wall while looking on in horror. (That’s a way too retro view of women. I like strong women.) A real man in any fight for his life will shriek, “Grab a shovel and hit this monster in the head! Don’t just stand there! He’s trying to kill me, for god’s sake!” Heroes who fight alone with an ally/romantic interest nearby aren’t heroes. They’re morons.

3. I put my protagonist through the burner. His reactions are realistic. He shakes. He trembles. He feels the euphoria of savagery and depths of fear. When bad things happen, he doesn’t just shrug it off. When somebody shoots at you, it’s totally unrealistic to react as if the shooter has offered you a sandwich of a sort you simply do not prefer.

4. The obstacles don’t stop. The guiding principle in The Hit Man Series is this: I don’t like it when the reader knows what’s coming next. Try to anticipate the unexpected. A lot of the time, I’m not sure what’s coming next, either. Expect a fast pace, twists and reversals.

5. A lot of fight scenes are dumb. This one isn’t. It means something much more to the larger story and to the characters.

6. There are long term consequences to a good fight scene. It’s not an episodic chapter of action only for action’s sake.

7. This fight scene elucidates in part how Jesus got the skills he did so what he can do doesn’t arrive out of nowhere.

8. The fight unearths something from Jesus Diaz’s personal history that overturns what readers think they know about his origin story. There was much more going on in Cuba than was revealed in the first book. I only found out when Jesus told me the other day.

9. The fight scene establishes my hit man’s amoral centre, but, because of his love for the heroine, he wants to reach higher. He wants to change. One of his challenges for the long arc of the series is, can he change? Can anyone?

10. When Higher Than Jesus comes out, you’ll see what I mean about this. No spoilers here, but I can say when the action is fast, the scene slows to take in details and make you grit your teeth. When the action slows down, the tension cranks up so there are questions that propel the story to the last word of the scene and the chapter.

This particular fight scene shows where Jesus Diaz has been and where he’s going.

The fight isn’t just with a couple of bad guys.

It’s about the fight between the two sides of Jesus’s character.

It’s about the fight we all face with the devils of our worse nature.

~ Like my flavor? Listen to the first chapter of my crime thriller, Bigger Than Jesus. I’m podcasting the book through the summer. Enjoy! (Or be a hero and just click the cover to grab it. Thanks for reading!)

UPDATE: Click here for the audio of Bigger Than Jesus, Chapter 2.

Filed under: publishing, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Winner of Writer's Digest's 2014 Honorable Mention in Self-published Ebook Awards in Genre

The first 81 lessons to get your Buffy on

More lessons to help you survive Armageddon

"You will laugh your ass off!" ~ Maxwell Cynn, author of Cybergrrl

Available now!

Fast-paced terror, new threats, more twists.

An autistic boy versus our world in free fall

Suspense to melt your face and play with your brain.

Action like a Guy Ritchie film. Funny like Woody Allen when he was funny.

Jesus: Sexier and even more addicted to love.

You can pick this ebook up for free today at this link: http://bit.ly/TheNightMan

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