A new writer asked, “Where do I start if I want to be a writer?”
My response? By writing.
Here are a few tips to help clarify my meaning of “by writing”.
- Write something every day. It could be a journal entry, a paragraph, a few lines for a story idea, a blog article…anything. Just write.
- Write what you know. If you are beginning a novel start with ideas, situations, people, places that you are familiar with. This increases your confidence as you begin to experiment with all the other aspects of the craft.
- Research your craft. Find good books about writing. If you’re a Fiction writer, I recommend the Write Great Fiction Series. Bird by Bird by Anne LaMott is also a good book for beginning writers.
- Don’t start by asking the question, “How much money can I make?” Write because it makes you happy. Study your craft to become the best writer you can be. The money will take care of itself.
- Study basic grammar and sentence structure. Know where to put commas and quotation marks at a bare minimum. Knowing basic story structure will help you so much in the long run. The Little Brown Handbook is an excellent reference.
- Approach critique groups with caution. If these are run correctly they can be a great support to a budding writer, if not, it can discourage you forever. Find a writing mentor you can trust who will encourage you, not tear you down.
- Stay away from social media groups for a while. You can become totally overwhelmed by all the information thrown at you. Again, find a writing mentor you can trust.
Speaking of becoming overwhelmed! That’s probably enough to chew on for now. I’ll leave the floor open to comments and thoughts from others.
I am so excited about this. Just in time for the holidays, the first book in The Guardians of Spirit Rock Series, Secrets of a Wolf is now available as an audio book!
Working with Dawn Kingheart and Andrew Bearden was a delightful experience. I love how the narration moves from female to male as the characters change. I’m honored they’ve agreed to do the entire series!
A tragic event ruins Daphne Valentine’s career as a K-9 cop and department veterinarian in Seattle. Devastated, she escapes to Spirit Rock, South Dakota, to start over as the vet for an animal wildlife rescue park. When she arrives, nothing goes quite as planned — especially when she meets her new boss for the first time and she’s almost stark naked. Not the greatest first impression…. Or is it?
A confirmed bachelor, Cameron Gray is shocked at his instant attraction to his new employee. He soon learns she carries quite a bit of extra baggage, but even so, his desire to possess the sexy vet ignites him with a need he and his wolf can’t ignore. But all is not what it seems…. What exactly drove Daphne to leave her successful career and move to Seattle?
When dangerous poachers bring the two together in the line of duty, Daphne discovers Cameron’s secret, forcing her to question every decision she’s made since arriving in Spirit Rock. Will the tender new love they’ve found be enough to hold them together or drive them apart forever?
Join the Gray brothers in Spirit Rock, South Dakota. Gifted with the power to shift into their own unique spirit animal, they have been bestowed with the enormous responsibility of watching over their ancestral canyon. Their strength and conviction will be tested…as will the depth and breadth of their heart and soul.
Listen for Free on Audible.com Now!
While reading a writing sample by an aspiring writer, I noticed something that I’d like to share. It was clear this writer hadn’t taken the time to get to know her characters very well. When formulating your characters you need to know them better than you know the person you are closest to in life, a partner, spouse, child, etc. Easy right? Not necessarily. If you haven’t given enough time to getting to know your character, your reader will notice.
Building a character profile is only half the battle. Once you do that, you have to refer to it. Not only for physical characteristics, but personality characteristics as well. Here are a few tips to keep you true to your characters:
- If you give them a “quirk”, be consistent with it. If they are jumpy, don’t mention steady hands
- Avoid cliches and stereotypes. Keep your characters unique
- Think about each scene and analyze how the personality characteristics you gave your character come into play. For example, if the character is meek, they’d run rather than fight when confronted by a threat
- Apply a character’s personality traits to their dialogue. A lawyer raised in privilege will speak differently from a seventy-year-old with a third grade education
- As your hero or heroine develops throughout your story be sure to keep those growth characteristics throughout the rest of the story. A near death experience will change the way a person behaves.
- Avoid flat characters. Give them a reason to change.
That’s probably enough to digest for now. Scroll through my other blog entries for more writing tips.
Good luck to all you NANOWRIMO writers. I wish you the best.
Just wanted to let you know my Christmas Novella, An Online Angel is now up for Pre-order on Amazon. It’s a Sweet Romance and just in time for the Holidays. Only 99 Cents so grab while its on sale! Launches 12/1/2017.
An innocent trip to an online store to buy her three year old son a Christmas gift turns into a living nightmare for Cheryl. Mark, her poker obsessed husband has just cleaned out their entire savings account for a high stakes poker tournament three weeks before Christmas. On top of that he’s decided to leave her and the son he never wanted because Cheryl “doesn’t get him”. Devastated, scared, and confused Cheryl must find a way to keep her struggling law practice alive and provide some kind of Christmas for Robbie.
Cheryl had her doubts about marrying Mark in the first place, and she should have listened to her instincts. Letting go of her first love, Kevin, was something she regretted even more now. At the time he wasn’t good enough for her, or so her parents tried to convince her. When Kevin contacts her out of the blue right before Christmas, is Cheryl due a Christmas miracle? Can one innocent message on Facebook rewind the past?
Just a quick shout out for my upcoming author event in Riverview Florida. On Monday, November 6, 2017 at 6:30 I’ll be at the Riverview Branch Library in Riverview, Florida talking about my writing and publishing journey. I’m super excited to share with you writing tips and do’s and don’ts as you move into November and NANOWRIMO.
I’ll share things like:
Avoiding Pitfalls When Choosing a Publishing House or Agent
Why Planning a Novel Is Better Than Writing By The Seat Of Your Pants
What’s It Like Being A Hybrid Author
And Much More…
There will be a reading and signing afterward as well.
Can’t wait to see you there.
Facebook Link with all the details
Attending book events may seem too troublesome or expensive to some authors, but I think they are important. Not only do you meet new readers, which is the most important reason for me to go, but depending on the event I can learn so much.
I recently attended Indie Book Fest 2017 in Orlando, a wonderfully organized annual event. It was my third time around and I had a blast. There were informative panels on Industry Day. I attended panels on How to Write a Realistic Fight Scene – wicked fun and taught by author L.E. Perez. I learned about how to better build my brand as an author. Look for more information on that in the days to come. AND I learned more about marketing than I can fit into my wee brain. Which is why I took gobs of notes.
I loved meeting new author friends and new readers and re-connecting with friends I’d already made. It recharges me as an author to be around those who write. It’s how I build those characters with passion, power and purpose! We sit around in the lobby of the hotel on the off hours and share so much information that it can make your head spin. Or was that the margaritas??
There are tons of events going on all over the place, some in your own neighborhood. Do some Google searches and search on Facebook. I know they seem expensive and if you avoid going because you won’t make your money back, go anyway. You won’t make your money back in most cases, but the other fringe benefits are very worth it.
Do research the event first. You do want to gauge if it is going to have enough attendees to get the above benefits, but usually if the event has happened multiple times it has gathered a following of fans.
Check some out and go have fun!
Yep! Another new release. Soul Fire, the first book in the Soul Fire Series is out! This novella was first part of the Stoking the Flames boxed set with 13 other wonder authors. Now it is a stand alone and the first story of many to come in the series. I’m excited about it. It’s a little different because this hero and heroine are bound to the Order of the Hunters of the Cross and they rid the world of supernatural evil that threatens mankind. And there’s NO lack of sexual tension between the two. Meet Grace and Gabriel…
After a horrifying encounter with the Bride of the Dark Lord, Hunters of the Cross Gabriel and Grace Rome are paying a terrible price. Not only did Grace lose the child she carried, but Medea, the Dark Witch, bonded her to the Soul Fire Stone. Forever doomed to take the form of a dragon and do the witch’s bidding, Grace is forced to destroy the very human lives she’s sworn to protect. Not to mention, she’s forever separated from the love of her life and his passionate embrace.
Gabriel is determined to separate the dragon spirit from his wife’s soul and return her to human form. Together with the Archangel Michael he searches to find a way to break the curse of the Soul Fire stone. He’s located the Dark Witch and is eager to exact his revenge, but Medea has a soul shocking surprise for the couple. Even with all the powers of the Cross at their disposal, they couldn’t have foreseen what is about to change their lives forever.
Buy Your Copy Today!
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