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The 5 Characteristics All Great Authors Have in Common

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“To thine own self be true.” – William Shakespeare

From J.K. Rowling’s “rags to riches” journey with the Harry Potter series to George R.R. Martin‘s Game of Thrones phenomenon, it fascinates us to learn what it is about authors that help them reach their levels of success.

What makes some writers more successful than others? When it comes to becoming an award-winning novelist, is being exceptional at spinning stories and impeccable grammar enough?

Do you have what it takes to be a great writer?

While each writer’s story is different, we have discovered that there are specific characteristics that all successful authors have in common. Here are the top five qualities that make a writer great:

 

  • Self-Discipline

 

Great authors need the discipline to stick to a schedule. While it’s true that many writers need to wait to be inspired, writers typically motivate themselves, committed to writing a specified amount such as a chapter over a defined amount of time. Writers work unsupervised; therefore, they know that it’s up to them to monitor their productivity. They know to avoid procrastination. Because writer’s block is something writers dread the most, they know to not stop when they’re “on a roll.”

 

  • Good Researchers

 

While some authors write from experience or a vision in their head, many turn to proper old-fashioned research to form their ideas or make their writing more accurate; even some fiction is based on facts.

 

  • Problem Solvers

 

Successful and productive writers know they can’t let their egos get in the way. They realize they will hit roadblocks and may require help at some point. They recognize that the best way to stay productive is to seek help when needed. It could be in the form of a mentor, a second pair of eyes, someone to listen, or even tools that check spelling and grammar. While writers are expected to be great at spelling and grammar, you’d be surprised by how many aren’t. Many often have to go back and correct their writing or have an editor look over their work.

 

  • Vision

 

Some authors say their stories write themselves. But for most writers, their process starts with a view. Without writing a single word, they know who the key players are in their story. They see the theme and the setting. They know what the central conflict is and the resolution.

 

  • Passion for Reading

 

There’s nothing wrong with being moved by someone else’s words. Most authors are inspired to become writers because of a love for reading. Reading and writing complement each other. Like artists and other creatives, the work of favorite writers often inspires their writing. By reading others work, they can recognize lousy writing and identify different styles of writing. The more you read to learn, the more you develop self-awareness of the kind of writer you are and ultimately, want to become.

If you’re an aspiring writer and need inspiration, Progressive Rising Phoenix has a vast variety of award-winning titles in mystery, suspense, action, adventure, fantasy, romance, historical fiction, and sci-fi. Contact us today, and we’ll help get you started.

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The Most Successful Young Adult Books of All Time

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While Young Adult Fiction often is labeled as books for teens or the age group covering 12 – 14 years old, YA books appeal to all ages. Many YA novels have gained so much popularity that people continue to read many titles that are from decades ago. Many YA titles have gone on to enjoy the tremendous success that they get adapted into movies and become blockbuster hits.

The following are some of the most successful YA books of all time. Some of these YA titles enjoy success regarding book sales while others have left a lasting cultural and societal impact:

The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling

The first novel from the Harry Potter series, The Sorcerer’s Stone, was first released in 1997. To date, it’s sold over 450 million copies. Six more books followed the Sorcerer’s Stone. In total, the entire book series has totaled $7.7 billion in sales.

The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye sold more than 65 million copies when it published in 1951. Each year, there are sales of about 250,000 copies of the book.  At one point, it was both the most censored book and the second most taught book.

 

Anne of the Green Gables by LM Montgomery

Anne of the Green Gables published in 1908. Since its publication, the book has sold more than 50 million copies. It’s adapted into films, animated series, and made-for-television movies.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games published in 2008. When the first book was first released, it sold 200,000 copies. By the time the film adaptation was released n 2012, the book had been on USA Today’s bestsellers list for 135 consecutive weeks.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

A Wrinkle in Time released in 1962. The book was so successful that it inspired two film adaptations. In a National Education Association online poll in 2007, it was named one of the “Teachers’ Top 100 Books for Children.”

The Outsiders by SE Hinton

The Outsiders by SE Hinton is arguably one of the most influential and controversial YA books of its time. It was first released in 1967 and has sold approximately 15 million copies.

The Sweet Valley High series by Francine Pascal

There are 181 books n total in the Sweet Valley High series. The series chronicling the lives of identical twins living in Sweet Valley, California began in 1983. The series inspired spin-offs and made into a TV series which ran for four seasons.

The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver released in 1993. In 1994, it won the Newberry Medal and had sold over 10 million copies worldwide. Two decades after its release, the book adapted into a movie.

The Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer

The Twilight series has sold over 120 million copies since they were first released in 2005 and translated into 37 different languages. The series spent over 235 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list for Children’s Series Books of 2008. The books adapted into the movie series, The Twilight Saga, which grossed over $3.3 billion worldwide.

Progressive Rising Phoenix Press offers a wide variety of young adult fiction. Our award-winning young adult fiction titles include mystery, suspense, action, adventure, fantasy, romance, historical fiction, sci-fi, and more!

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How Does Reading Affect Your Brain?

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We know that reading sparks our imagination. A reading experience that is immersive enough has the power make our mind burst with imagery and fill us with emotions. Well-written stories can make us laugh or cry. They can anger or inspire us. Our minds take off, and we envision we are in the setting of the story, existing as one of the key players. We become invested in the lives of the characters, cheering for our favorites.

But have you ever wondered what happens to our brains when we read? Is there a physical reaction going on in our minds whenever we read?

Heightens Connectivity in the Brain

The truth is that our brains do fascinating things when we read. Neuroscientists have discovered that reading can stimulate our minds when what we read is compelling enough. In a study on the Short- and Long-Term Effects of a Novel on Connectivity in the Brain, researchers sought to determine whether reading a novel causes measurable changes in the brain. For 19 consecutive days, participants read pages from a book, during which functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) tracks changes in the resting-state brain activity. The results of the research proved that there are long-term changes in brain connectivity. Connections were identified to increase in strength during story days, remaining elevated even after reading.

Increase Brain’s Activity for Memory

Reading stimulates your brain, keeping it engaged. And because reading improves brain function, it is considered one of the best exercises for your mind as it positively affects mental, cognitive tasks like reasoning and memory. The novels you read are full of different elements, forcing you to remember character names, descriptions, events, and settings. Therefore, the more you try to recall what you read, the more you work your mind.

In a study conducted by the National Academy of Sciences, researchers discovered how reading influences the brain on a chemical level. It stimulates the mind, training our imagination and giving our brain a workout. And just like regular exercise for the body, reading keeps your brain healthy. The healthier it is, the more you avoid cognitive decline and the better your short- and long-term memory. Reading is believed to be so beneficial to cognitive health that it is considered to help you prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Alters Brain Tissue

There’s evidence that serious reading can cause the brain to create white matter. White matter refers to the areas of the central nervous system that act as “highways” carrying information throughout your mind. Gray matter, on the other hand, relates to tissues that process and store information. The research by scientists from Carnegie Mellon University uncovered the first evidence that reading alters brain tissue, causing the brain to rewire itself physically. With the creation of new white matter, communication within the brain improves. Therefore, the more you read, the more you help build your mind to carry information.

If you’re ready to start exercising and building your brain, Progressive Rising Phoenix has excellent titles to keep you entertained, and your mind stimulated.