Today, we’re happy to be hosting Day 4 of a 5-day virtual tour for Raiders and Horse Thieves, a new memoir from Jackie Ellis Stewart.
In today’s stop on the tour, Jackie offers some writing tips.
Writing Tips from Author Jackie Ellis Stewart
All my life I’ve yearned to be able to sing. Once I took a voice class through the continuing education department at the University of Memphis, and at the first session, backed the defenseless instructor into a diplomatic corner.
“Just tell me once and for all,” I begged. “Can I sing?”
There was a significant pause, which I should have taken for an obvious negative response. “Well,” she responded brightly. “I’ve heard lots worse who thought they could sing.”
I floated halfway home on a blissful cloud of musical notes before the implication of her answer finally hit home.
That was 15 or 20 years ago. What little voice I had is long gone. I am now a lector at church, instead of sitting in the choir loft.
In the meantime, I’ve discovered I have some talent as a writer. Years of hard work paid off this past month when Texas A&M University Press published my first book, Raiders and Horse Thieves, Memoir of a Central Texas Baby Boomer.
Although writing is a terrific challenge, it can also be tremendously fulfilling.
Listed below are some of the habits and practices I’ve found helpful as a neophyte writer.
• Read everything; fluff as well as serious literature; non-fiction and fiction. Learn to distinguish well-constructed fluff from junk. Notice how good dialogue is recorded on the page and how various authors handle action and describe characters.
• Haunt the library and learn all you can about authors and publishers. There’s much to be learned from writers who were popular in earlier times.
• Join a book discussion group that really reads the book and discusses it in depth. There are lots of book discussion groups in every community; however, many are wine and cheese enthusiasts disguised as readers.
• Attend literary events in your community. Go to book signings and ask the author about his/her daily writing schedule. Many will block off major sections of their day to writing alternated with some form of exercise.
• Take classes in writing. Listen carefully to what the instructor advises and do it.
• Become a people watcher and an eavesdropper. Pay attention to what people say and how they behave. Make notes of things you see in your daily life that catch your fancy. People can say and do the most incredible things. I recently found the name for a future character from the name of a dealership imprinted on the back of a van that pulled out of a parking lot in front of me.
• Keep a notebook specifically for quirky things you hear or see or ideas you have for future use.
• Carve out time in your daily schedule to regularly write and stick to it.
Follow every day of this tour by going to http://www.bestauthorinterviews.com.
I spend hours working at this table as pictured here with my faithful assistant, George the better-than-standard poodle.
I love it when things are simplified like this—and include pictures. If you're thinking of podcasting, these instructions from Copyblogger will help.
Writing For Children - A Dozen Ways to Make Your Manuscripts More Marketable
Writing for the children's magazine and book markets is much different from writing for grown-up (a.k.a. adult) publications. If you write for children, follow these tips to make your manuscripts more marketable.
Each time you write a story, use this article as a check list before you submit your story to your critique group for review, and certainly before you submit it to an editor for consideration for publication.
Each time you write a story, use this article as a check list before you submit your story to your critique group for review, and certainly before you submit it to an editor for consideration for publication.
For more writing tips, get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge now at www.morningnudge.com.
Whether you're a romance writer or a romance reader, you'll want to check out these great websites:
Sweet Romance Writers International is the place for writers of sweet romance to join and promote their work. There is also a Readers' Club for readers who love sweet romances to learn about their favourite authors, and more coming soon. http://sweetromancewriters.com/
Summersby Island Romances is a new series of sweet romances by Wendy Dewar Hughes and Suzanne Lieurance. The series currently in development, which is fairly in-depth as it involves creating an entire island. The first book in the series, The Summersby Island House is due out by mid-May. http://www.summersbyisland.com/
Here is a sneak peak at the cover of The Summersby Island House. Doesn't it just make you want to pack up and go there?
If you're an avid romance reader (and there are lots of us), you'll like Romance Reader at Heart. It lists more websites for romance books and readers than I can begin to list here.
Want a taste before you buy a book, or you might even find the whole story, try Wattpad. Here is Wendy's page on Wattpad with a complete sweet romance, The Escape Artist, plus some sizzling tastes of two more of my books.
If you need a little romance in your life, you might just find it in a good novel.
Profile Your Characters
If you want to write a novel, it’s a good idea to profile each of your characters before you get too far into your story. To do this, just create what is called a character profile for each of your main characters.
If you take the time to complete a detailed profile for each of your main characters, you’ll find it’s much easier to plot your story because at every turn you’ll know what each character would be most likely to do.
For each character profile, answer the following questions in 1st person – as if the character you are profiling is answering them, not you. This will help you develop this character’s voice – which is a great way to get to know the character better.
Tell us your name and give a detailed description of yourself? Include, age, race, gender, occupation, siblings, family info, where you live, etc.
Feel free to create additional questions to ask each of your characters.
Here’s another great site online with plenty of questions to choose from:
For more writing tips, get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge now at http://www.morningnudge.com.
Outlining a Novel in 12 Chapters
If you're planning to write a novel, you might want to outline it in just 12 chapters. You may end up with more chapters once you start writing, but starting with only 12 chapters makes the planning and outlining process more manageable. As you create a plot for your novel, remember, your plot should include these five elements:
1. A strong opening scene - that presents a sympathetic character, someone we know about in detail and will care about.
2. A conflict - that is rather complex and not easily solved since things will get worse and worse in the story before they get better.
3. A further complication to the plot - this is where "the plot thickens."
4. A climax - things come to a boiling point and there's no going back
5. A resolution - things are resolved and the main character is changed forever in some way
Now - to start your outline:
1. First, decide how your story will start. Then, write a few sentences about this for chapter 1 of your outline.
2. Next, figure out how your story will end. Where will your main character end up and how will he/she change or grow? Put this information in your outline.
3. Go back and fill in each of the other chapters. Keep in mind that you want to create rising action up to the climax, then falling action and the resolution.
Some additional tips to outline your story:
Start with a character readers will love. Put this person in the middle of some sort of change. You're setting the stage for the overall story problem.
In the movies, you usually see the main character take a trip or go away somewhere so the character is now in a different location than he/she was in the opening of the story. But this change in venue can be something simple, like the character leaves his house and walks outside. It can be more dramatic, like he/she leaves home for the first time, or has to go on a far away trip for some reason.
The main character faces some sort of complication to the conflict. The action starts to rise.
We learn more about the complication and wonder how the main character will deal with it
The main character deals with the complication and moves on. But the overall story problem still exists.
But now, Another complication occurs and we wonder what he/she will do this time.
The main character deals with the second complication and the reader begins to think maybe things will be okay for the main character.
But just when we think things will be okay, they get worse.
Things reach a crisis point. An action is taken that brings about the climax.
The climax occurs - This ends the crisis in some way and changes things
The Falling action begins - this can be the start of the resolution
This is where the main character ends up. What has he or she learned as a result of facing all the conflict? How has the main character changed or grown as a result of all he/she faced? What is next for this character (just give a hint of this)
At this point, you just want a very rough outline of the storyline. Don’t worry about scenes yet. Just try to get the storyline down within the 12 chapters.
When naming your characters there are a few things to consider.
If you write fiction, you’ll find it much easier to write about a character who has the perfect name. So how do you go about choosing the perfect name for each of your characters? Well, consider the following:
1. Where and When Your Story Takes Place. While Tiffany might be a popular girl’s name in the United States and Canada today, you don’t want to name your character Tiffany if your story takes place in the 1700s, no matter what country the character is from or where she lives.
2. The Ethnicity of Your Character. Native American characters will more likely have last names like Red Feather or Standing Bull than the more common Smith or Jones. Whether your characters are Irish, or Mexican, African-American, or Jewish, you’ll need to take their ethnicity into account when naming them. Check name origins before you name your characters.
3. Other Elements of Your Story That Relate to the Character’s Name. Sometimes you’ll have a reason for naming a character. For example, in my story, A Christmas Kiss (one of the stories in the anthology, Sweet Christmas Love), I had a reason that the main character’s name needed to start with the letter “S” – so that played a big part in what I named her.
4. The Temperament, Personality, or Other Characteristics of Your Character. Some names just sound sophisticated, exotic, goofy, or plain. Choose a name that fits your character OR choose a name that is the opposite of your character in some way.
5. Other Characters in the Story. You don’t want too many character names to begin with the same letter, especially if you’ll be writing a story for children. It’s too hard to keep everyone straight if all the names begin with the same letter.
6. Ease of Saying the Name. Even though most people won’t be reading your story out loud, they’ll still be saying each character’s name in their head as they read your story. Have you ever read stories where you couldn’t pronounce the characters’ names so you just glossed over them as you were reading? And as you did, it became more and more difficult to identify with these characters because you couldn’t keep them straight in your head? That’s what usually happens with readers, so it’s a good idea to give your characters names that people can easily pronounce or at least figure out phonetically.
Once you’ve taken all these elements into consideration, if you need help finding the perfect name for your character, try these online resources:
www.census.gov - I’ve used this site when I needed to know popular names for U.S. immigrants in the early 1920s. I looked at the census information for those years and found lots of great names that would work for my characters who came to America during that time.
www.babynames.com - Search for the most popular baby names today and from days past.
www.sheknows.com/baby-names - Find all sorts of popular baby name origins and much more.
For more writing tips, get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge at http://www.morningnudge.com.
When I say "modeling" I don't mean walking down a runway in ridiculously high heels. What I mean is more like monkey-see, monkey-do. (No, I'm not implying that writers are like monkeys. Don't go there.)
No matter what we decide to do or write, someone else has done something similar before. If you're writing sweet romance, for example, you know that there are other books written in this genre. The same holds true for thrillers, fantasy, murder mysteries—you name it. Almost everything has been done before in some way.
When you're starting out as a writer, or trying to find your feet, the best way to do that is to read. No secret there, right? Once you find a genre that you keep coming back to, try to narrow your focus some more by choosing sub-genres and categories within that genre. Then read the authors who are your favourites in the category.
Read like a writer. It's not always easy not to get caught up in the story. That's what we're supposed to do. However, if you read like a writer, that means paying attention to how the author creates her book. What's the tone, pacing, characterization, dialogue, and language like? If the style mirrors what is naturally your own, you can then use these authors' works as models for further developing your own style.
Keep in mind, that you never want to emulate a style that is not really your own and your goal is not to copy another author. What you're looking for is a style that is similar to your own to use as a model to further develop your own unique voice.
The Key to Success
Since we’re both published authors as well as writing and publishing coaches, people are always asking us, “What is the key to success?”
Years ago, we heard another coach say, "People look for things that will work instantly, rather than for things they will do consistently."
Is that what you've been doing? Looking for something that will work instantly so you will no longer have to struggle with your freelance career?
We all do that from time to time. However, we also need to search for something we will be able to do consistently to further our careers.
That old adage, "slow and steady wins the race", really is true.
So what are you doing CONSISTENTLY to advance your business or just get closer to achieving your personal goals?
Taking action on a consistent basis is the key to your success in most any endeavor.
Do you ever wake up in the morning with visions from a dream still drifting through your mind? If you capture those dream fragments, write them down, you can often remember your dreams much better.
Your dreams can represent things that are happening in your life that you need to pay attention to, or they can reveal things while you sleep that you don't notice or want to avoid while you're awake. The Bible tells us that God often speaks to us in dreams (probably because we're not paying attention or expecting it while we're awake.
My new book, One Hundred Nights, A Dream Journal, gives the dreamer a place to record and examine the dreams that might otherwise evaporate in the light of day. Each page is illustrated with my artwork and includes gentle prompts to help you look more closely at the messages contained in your dreams.
Click HERE to order your copy from Amazon today, and start capturing the elusive dreams that populate your nights.
If one of the accomplishments you've listed on your "life list" includes writing a book, how is that going?
Many people say that "someday" they want to write a book but it never gets much past a dream. (Others don't really want to write a book, they just want to have written a book.)
If you're ever going to move that list item from the someday section to checking it off, you have to take action. Action could mean starting to think about your topic. You could take notes, gather information or website addresses that pertain to your topic, join a writers' group, or simply sit down and get started.
Any way you look at it, if you do nothing, nothing will happen. Take action.
If you need help making it happen, here is a program that will give you the tools. Click HERE and Write That Book Now!
If you've written a book, the real challenge begins when you start to market that book. Marketing can be expensive, and most authors don't have loads of money to use for promoting or marketing their book(s). Here are a dozen no-cost or low-cost ways to get the word out about your book:
1. If you don't already belong to a local writer's group that includes at least a few authors who are published in the same genre as you, then join or start such a group. Then, when your book comes out, and other authors in your group who publish similar books also have a new or recent title, offer to do group signings together at your local bookstores. Often, just one unknown author has a hard time generating much enthusiasm from a local bookstore for a signing. But, if 3 or 4 local authors band together, a book signing can be more of an "event." A big table at the front or even the back of the store, with 3 or 4 authors seated there, along with copies of their books, is bound to attract shoppers' attention, and bookstore owners LOVE this.
2. Bookstores and libraries are not the only places where you can sell your books. Many authors have a lot of fun, and sell quite a few copies of their books, at restaurants. All you need to do is ask the restaurant owner if you can set up at one of the tables at the front of the restaurant. Then, people can drop by to look at your book and purchase a copy and get it signed by you (the author) if they like. Again, do this with a friend who is also an author and you'll have more fun and generate more interest in your book(s). Plus, if no one stops by to purchase your book at least you and your friend can have a nice time having coffee or a meal together.
3. Get your friends to write a review of your book and submit it to amazon.com. Great reviews help sell books. And it doesn't take much to ask friends and family to write a short, positive review of your book and post it at amazon.com.
4. Sell your book(s) at holiday fairs and crafts fairs. People look for all sorts of gifts, for all sorts of people at holiday and craft fairs. And, generally, a booth or table at these types of local events doesn't cost much. Have a poster made of the cover of your book. Put it on an inexpensive eisel you can get at a local art store, then stack copies of your book on the table, and you're ready for business.
5. Start your own talk show on Internet Radio. Center your show around the topic you cover in your book. Having your own show will increase your visibility, which will increase your credibility. It will help you become known as THE leading expert in your field. And, it doesn't cost a thing to start your own Internet radio show through sites such as blogtalkradio.com, Plus, you can have your show "on the air" immediately.
6. Present a free teleseminar as a way for people to preview your book. A teleseminar is nothing more than a conference call, where dozens, even hundreds or thousands, of people can call in to hear you speak. Generate interest in your teleseminar by letting everyone know you'll be making a special offer or having a giveaway drawing at the end of the teleseminar.
7. Guest blog for other bloggers and write about topics that are related to your book. When you guest blog for other bloggers, generally, you get to include links to your own site(s) and a short bio that gives readers information about your background. The more blogs you write for, the more people find out about you and your book(s). And bloggers love to have someone they can rely on to provide quality content for their blogs, so it's a win-win situation.
8. Create an in-person workshop based on your book. Offer the workshop at no-cost or low-cost, but sell your book at the back of the room during the workshop. Another way to sell more books through a workshop is to charge a fee for the workshop and make sure the fee includes the price of the book. Then, everyone who registers for your workshop will also get a copy of your book.
9. Partner with a large not-for-profit organization and donate part of the profits from your book sales to this organization. You'll need to figure out some way your book ties in to this organization in order to make this work. But, many authors do this and it can dramatically increase their book sales.
10. Submit short articles to online article directories. Again, when you write short articles, these articles help you become known as THE leading expert in your field. You don't get paid for these articles when you submit them to online article directories. The pay off is that the articles provide you with FREE advertising. Visit online directories like www.ezinearticles.com to generate ideas for your own articles. And be sure to learn how to create an effective author resource box to include with each of your articles.
11. Create a short e-book featuring excerpts from your book. Give away this e-book to people who sign up for your mailing list at your website and/or blog. In the back of the e-book include links where people can purchase your book. If they like what they read in the e-book, they'll want more, so they'll be ready to purchase your book and will use one of the links in the e-book to do so.
12. Join online groups for writers that often provide group opportunities for marketing your book(s). If you want to attend some of the bigger book expos, conferences, and other publishing events to market your book, join these online groups. Many times, they offer participation in these events at a reduced rate because you share space at the event with other authors in the group. You'll find writer's groups like this at social networking sites such as ning.com.
There are so many ways to market books these days. And you don't necessarily need a LOT of cash. Get creative! And have fun.
Listen to Suzanne Lieurance and Wendy Dewar Hughes talk about book marketing on Friday, March 13th, at 11:00 A.M. central time on Creative Caravan Road Show. We’ll elaborate on each of the tips, above, and give many more tips, too!
We’re looking for authors of sweet romance novels to interview for upcoming episodes of Creative Caravan Road Show. These interviews last 30 minutes and are a great way to help get the word out about your books - especially if you have a new book already on the market or a new book about to be published.
Listen to past episodes at www.creativecaravanroadshow.com to get a feel for our interviews, and be sure to follow our show on blogtalkradio.
If you’re a sweet romance author and you’d like to be interviewed, please fill in the form, HERE.
If you’ve been following our interviews each week on Creative Caravan Road Show, you know we’ve given many tips for writing sweet romance. And one of those tips is to read as many sweet romances as you can. But something else you can do is read blog posts written by other sweet romance authors. They generally have great tips.
Here are five of the best blog posts about writing romance that we've found:
The Five Things I’ve Learned about Writing Romance from TV
20 Tips for Writing Lovable Romance Novel Heroes
Things to Avoid When Writing Romance Novels
These Romance Writers Ditched Their Publishers for ebooks - and Made Millions!
Learning to Write Romance
If you know of other great blog posts about writing romance, please share the URLs in a comment here.
Thanks, and happy writing!
Suzanne and Wendy
Why wait for Valentine’s Day for romance when you can start leading a romantic life right now, this very minute.
Don’t have a special someone in your life at the moment? No worries. Simply love yourself until your special Valentine comes along. After all, a romantic life is simply a life you truly love.
Here are a dozen ways to add romance to your life right now:
Do you have your own tips for leading a more romantic life?
Please share your tips as a comment, below.
by Pauline Daley-Parril
Valentine’s Day hashtags are proliferating on Twitter. That means one thing: #valentinesdayiscoming. For single women, the 14th of February is tough enough when it’s #nodate and #aloneagain. But for married women, Valentine’s Day is a #minefield #forgetaboutit #norosesforyousister #fml.
For women in general, Valentine’s Day is like trying on a new bikini: single girls hope to find something nice that handles the girls effectively but all too often end up with lingering regrets and maybe a yeast infection from the previous person who tried the bathing suit.
All that married women can hope for is that the top half can still work the old black magic while the bottom half still fits the base.
Meanwhile, the average man is completely oblivious to the whole #chocolates #romance and #finedining thing. That’s because he hasn’t set foot in a shop since the day before Christmas when he did his annual shopping trip. Only women know that, just minutes after New Year’s Day is over, every store and mall in the country turns into a raging river of pink and red hearts with fur-trimmed bralettes on display in every window.
It’s not enough to avoid the flood of lacey crap at the mall. You better stay away from the drugstores too. Trouble is, you forgot to get your flu shot last fall, didn’t you? Now you need lozenges for the bug that is shredding up all the real estate in your throat. In you go, determined to make it past the heart-shaped candies and roses-made-of-chocolate aisle. You quickly skirt the section with the wide selection of ribbed condoms, cherry-flavored lubricants and estrogen massage cream. But, suddenly, you’re confronted by the greeting card aisle. Love is in the air. And it’s sucking all the oxygen from the store.
You pause to look at all the pretty, pretty cards. Maybe it’s a good idea to inject a little romance into your plodding relationship and get your man a special valentine? You pick up a card with a pink satin bow. It says: “You are my forever best friend.” But, last time you checked, your husband wasn’t a Golden Retriever. The card with the velvet trim says, without the tiniest trace of irony: “Every moment I spend with you is a dream.” Every last card is festooned with curvy fonts, cupids, roses, arrows and hearts. As if you weren’t feeling sick enough with the flu before.
The sad fact is there are no realistic cards for wives to give to husbands. Clearly, companies need to offer cards with more truthful messages, such as: My darling, you deserve the best of me. (Sorry I called you a moron yesterday. The stupid of you got the better of me.)
Or: You can be my Valentine, but only if you stop being a prick.
For newer brides, the card could read: Be mine. (Unless you cheat on me. In that case, I will cut you.)
Or: Let’s get married all over again! (Without your drunk cousins this time.)
Together forever. (Unless you screw it up.)
Middle-aged marrieds have even more options: Loving you is my mission. It’s right up there with gaining control of the remote someday.
You are still hot to me. Mostly. (I’m still sleeping in my socks tonight because your feet are freaking blocks of ice.)
You make me smile. (To be honest, sometimes I smirk. Sometimes, it’s an evil grin. And sometimes I laugh hysterically. You say tomato …)
For older marrieds, the card could say: I can’t believe I’m still putting up with your shit. But, wonder of wonders, I am!
Nothing can compare with you! Dude, you could win a snoring contest.
Together, we are stronger. Especially when we fart at the same time.
Never mind. Skip the card aisle. You have a bad head cold. It’s February for goodness’ sake. Your man doesn’t want a card anyway. He’d prefer a roughly hand-drawn coupon for an anytime, anywhere blowjob-on-demand.
Buy yourself some chocolate and don’t forget the cough syrup.
Collette Yvonne graduated from York University in Toronto with an Honor’s BA in Creative Writing. Her short stories, including From the Cottage Porch and Wild Words 2010, appear in several anthologies. She's written numerous articles in national Canadian publications, plus over 150 pieces for various Ontario newspapers. Her short story, Snapshots for Henry, was made into a short film, directed by Teresa Hannigan, and received a 2007 Genie nomination for Best Live Action Short Drama.
The Perils of Pauline— http://bit.ly/1Ki2LE0 is her first novel.
The Perils of Pauline BOOK LINKS:
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1DGMuXv
Astor + Blue: http://bit.ly/1Ki2LE0
Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, in today's competitive marketplace it's a good idea to build buzz about your book as you write it. That way, readers will be anxious to buy your new book once it is released.
Here are some ways to start building buzz about your first (or next) book as you're writing it:
• Establish an online presence for yourself and your book. To do this, set up an author Facebook page, a Twitter account, and a blog. Some authors write their books, chapter by chapter, on their blog. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, simply write blog posts describing the book and the writing process. Each time you add new content about your book to your blog, get the word out on your Facebook page and Twitter account with a link to the new content on your blog.
• Find beta readers who will give you helpful feedback as you’re writing the book. You want to be sure you’re writing a book readers will want to read. The feedback you'll get from your beta readers can help you do this.
• Connect with other writers in your genre. Generally, people who write also read a great deal. And they usually read books in the same genre that they write. Start connecting with other authors in your genre. You may be able to cross promote each other’s books.
• Be interviewed on popular podcasts and Internet radio shows about your book. It’s a good idea to listen to a few of these podcasts and shows first to get a feel for how other authors promote their upcoming books. Look for shows that cater to your target market on blogtalkradio.com and RadioGuestList.com or do a Google search.
There are dozens of other ways to build buzz about your book. Just get started with a few, so you'll still have time to write your book.
Whether you're an aspiring author or a well-published author, here are 5 reasons to enter writing contests.
1. Focus. All writing contests have specific guidelines and a deadline. When you decide to enter a contest, you'll be focused on a specific writing goal with guidelines to follow and a deadline to meet.
2. Prizes. All writing contests have prizes. These prizes often include cash, publication, or other items of special interest to writers. You can go from "unpublished" to "published" writer automatically if you win a contest that includes publication as one of its prizes. And, you can earn significant income if you enter and win contests on a regular basis. Plus, you just have fun winning prizes like e-readers, iPads, or computer software.
3. Credibility. When you win a contest you are no longer just a writer or author, you're now an "award-winning writer" or an "award-winning author." This goes a long way in building or increasing your credibility as a writer.
4. Visibility. When publication is one of the prizes for winning a particular contest, more people will start to read your work.
5. Practice. When you write for contests you usually have time to write and revise your story, essay, or article several times before the contest deadline. By writing and rewriting, so you make your entry the best it can be, you'll gain valuable writing practice.
These are only a few of the many reasons to start entering writing contests on a regular basis.
Now...get ready to enter our new Sweet Summer Love Short Story Contest.
Tune in Fridays at 11:00am Pacific, 2:00pm Eastern to Creative Caravan Road Show at www.creativecaravanroadshow.com where we talk with writers, about writing, and other creative ideas.
Something magical happens whenever you make the leap and become totally committed to whatever it is you are wanting to accomplish.
Until you make that leap, you tend to waste time second guessing yourself. You also start something but then just go halfway with it before pulling back. Is it any wonder you don't reach many of your goals this way?
You may THINK you're totally committed to your goals. But have you really made the big leap to TOTAL commitment? Here's how to tell.
If you've made the leap, suddenly things shift. Help arrives out of nowhere. Your struggling ends and everything becomes much easier.
You wake each morning with passion and excitement. You can't wait to get started on the day. You no longer worry about things working out. You EXPECT them to.
You go about your daily work with complete faith in yourself and all that you are doing.
If you haven't made the leap, what's holding you back? Go ahead – JUMP – and become totally committed to your goals! Once you've made the leap, you'll wonder why you ever waited so long to do it.
Join Wendy and Suzanne as we interview Sweet Romance Author, Valerie Comer about her newest series.
Are you trying to write a novel within the next few weeks or months, but you just can't seem to stick to a regular writing schedule?
The following tips will work for anyone who wants to write a book within a short period of time:
1. Set up your writing time as a regular appointment with yourself.
Plan specific times you will write each week, then write down these times on a calendar or day planner, just the way you would any other appointment.
2. Break down your novel, short story, or article into small chunks.
If you're writing a novel, break down each chapter into scenes. Then schedule time to write just one scene at a time.
3. Give yourself some slack while you're committed to completing a big writing project, like writing a book.
Save some of your other writing for later. You want to plan, start and finish your book within a short period of time. You won't be able to do that if you also try to write a million other things.
4. Let your friends and family know you've made a major commitment to writing your book over the next few weeks or months.
If your friends and family know ahead of time that you won't be so available at specific times each week (because you'll be writing), they'll get used to it. Remember, we TEACH other people how to treat us. Teach your friends and family to value you as a writer!
5. Realize you will be more productive some weeks than you are during other weeks.
Some weeks a chapter or section of your book will seem to write itself. Other weeks you'll struggle to write a single sentence. Realize this and just go with the flow! A struggle is no reason to give up on your book! ALL writers struggle at some point in every book they write (some writers may say otherwise, but I think they're much like mothers. They tend to forget how difficult the birthing process was; otherwise every child would be an ONLY child, and every book would be the ONLY book any writer ever writes).
6. Limit distractions during your writing time.
You may need to get out of your own house in order to write because your kids or your spouse just can't understand that you're working when you're writing. If that's the case, go to the library or a bookstore or coffeeshop and write. But then, don't answer your cell phone every five minutes when you're there or get online and check your email or talk to other people. You must write!
7. Try to schedule your writing for your most creative times of the day.
Some writers are morning people, others are night owls. If you schedule your writing for YOUR most creative time of the day, the work will be much easier and faster.
8. Create a reasonable writing schedule for yourself.
You probably won't be able to write for hours every day, so don't even expect to do that. It would be much better to write for 15-30 minutes every day, or perhaps decide to write a chapter a week on one particular day each week. Figure out what will work best for you based on your family, your regular job, your writing style, etc.
Okay, now use these tips to set up your own writing schedule.
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