How many times have you felt there wasn't enough of you
to go around? How often have you wished the days were just three hours longer?
I'm betting more times, than you care to admit.
With the responsibilities of a job, family, friends, and
writing [not necessarily in that order], creativity or in my case, blog posts
may suffer. This is how taking a page from my own book, re-purposing the
concept behind Scrivener's format, and a little more research, helped me.
The situation: You're way behind on all your commitments.
You're domestic chores haven't been done, you haven't called your family, or your
friends in ages, and your child needs you bake two dozen cookies for their class; plus,
your boss has been on your case to complete his project.
Then, there's your
story. Your passion, your escape, your secret love. It has sat neglected all
week. You feel guilty.
You’re nodding. Yep, been there, done that, got the
t-shirt; but how are you to meet all your obligations, and have time to devote
to your writing?
It's a matter of priority and perspective. Everyone's
read how you should write every day; it’s a tall order when you take into
consideration responsibilities of life. After all, there are just so many hours
in a day, and sleep is necessary.
Set priorities to be done in smaller chunks. Sounds
straightforward enough, but it takes a close look at what is a priority in
your reality. For mevacuuming is a loathsome chore,so it's a no-brainer - it
goes to the bottom of my list. My family and friends know I'm not ignoring themwhenI contact them once a week; they understand it's what I can manage. As for keeping your boss happy; it depends if you
want, or need, to keep your job.
With regard to writing, I've read countless articles,
which state, you must write every day. For many, this isn't practical. In
my research for a better way to manage my writing and fit in 7 hours of sleep,
I came across several comments from some NY Times best-selling authors who
admit they don't write every day, but they make sure toread every day.
These authors continue to study the craft, and think about their
stories.Their advice - write regularly; whether
this is every weekend, thirty minutes a day, or two to three times a week. Also, don't look at the entire project and try to tackle it that way; it can be
too intimidating, which causes some writersto abandon their manuscripts.
Work in smaller chunks [this is where Scrivener's concept
comes in]. You keep at it because it’s manageable, and not the monster it
initially appeared to be. I’ve applied this to my entire life, focusing on
smaller blocks; eventually it all gets done, it may take a little longer, but
nothing is abandoned and the stress/guilt factor is reduced. It's a
The holidays are upon us; a time for sharing, a time for family and friends. A time to look back and reflect on the past year. This year, I published Black Loon Lake, completed several renovation projects in our home, plus one huge yard makeover; took the NaNoWriMo challenge, and ended up with a new manuscript which I hope to publish in 2013. Overall, it's been a good year, with you representing a large part of this. The future appears brighter, 2013 promises to be an exhilarating year. May the fellowship of the season find its way into your home as I wish my readers, and their families, a joyous holiday season with a happy New Year. Happy holidays friends ~
We all know
social media marketing is the most effective way to put your books in front of
others. With stifling competition we must go beyond Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn
to get noticed. In the nearly 8 years since Youtube’s inception, it has become
one of the social media giants, ranking number 3 just behind Facebook and
Google[which holds the number one spot].
Colors and images play a significant role in how humans interact and
perceive people, places or products. Presentation is king; not exactly breaking
news; but having a pleasing video as a tool,is an effective
way to put your title in front of otherswho may not have been aware of your book.
Below are a
few things I learned from putting together a simple book trailer.
trailer short; between 30 and 90 seconds.
A non-scientific poll [which is no longer available online]suggested one minute is
optimum. No one wants to watch a 3 minute book trailer. If you can’t
grab and hold your audience’s attention within the first 15 seconds or less,
you’ve lost them. Keep the
pace brisk, but not rushed.
or two sentences which sum up your title.
A short book blurb is a good idea or, a one
sentence synopsis works well; it can be tricky to sum up your manuscript in just one
sentence; but keeping to the first point; it’s important to be concise.
free photos and video which represent your story.
This is straight forward. Many people are now
using portions, if not all, of their front covers [used in segments] throughout
their entire book trailers. I’ve seen this work quite well. If you’re cover is
not conducive to this, there are many sites which sell royalty free photos and
video clips. Example: Pond5, iStock, Shutterstock to name just a few.
royalty free music, or self-narrate [or cajole someone] your video.
Music can bring your video together, or it can
completely ruin it. Try to choose music or audio clips which best convey the
emotion you want your audience to walk away with. You could narrate your clip
to save money.
Find clips located at the above sources, they
also contain royalty free music and audio.
Edit, and add
transitions to make the trailer flow seamlessly from scene to scene.
handiwork before uploading to your favorite social media sites.
This should go without saying, but we all make
mistakes. Try and prevent embarrassment, review your work often before sending
it out to the world. Save your work in compatible formats and upload your new
video to as many social media sites as you can, don’t forget to add tags.
about designing end credits.
Have a copy of your cover showcased
at the end of the trailer, along with the following information: availability date, vendors,
and your web address.
This segment should be several seconds longer than other clips, and generally
is not counted as part of the one minute trailer guideline. Leave
enough time for the viewer to get the information on where they may purchase your
Most video editing programs are simple enough to use as they come with tutorials. Gather your media files and place your photos/videos in the timeline where you would like them. Add your text, then edit. Add music and edit again. Review your work, don't forget to save often and tweak it until you're happy.
Below is an
example of a short trailer I made for a children’s book. The entire thing cost
me $2 (for the music) as I utilized several illustrations from the book.
First, I must apologize to Ms. Weiland for my tardy review post. This past fall, I was asked to review an ARC of Dreamlander, by the fabulous K.M. Weiland. She is the successful independent novelist behind 9 titles [5 of which I have read]. Her latest offering Dreamlander is an epic fantasy with some of the best story telling I've read in a long time. Ms. Weiland is also the voice of inspiration, advice, and tips for authors. Her writer's blog mantra "helping writers, become authors" says it all. Check out WORDplay and her main site K.M. Weiland, where you'll find some fantastic information, advice, and a welcoming personality who is generous with her time.
Dreamlander I can sum this novel up with a single verb: Wow! This engaging
fantasy opens with a bang - literally. The cleverly baited hook captures
your imagination and pulls you into a riveting plot. This novel is well
paced, and impossible to put down; I devoured the chapters. If
you've ever read C.S. Lewis's series The Chronicles of Narnia, you will
love Weiland's Dreamlander, with its adult cast. The rich tapestry of
this epic fantasy, with its wonderful, imaginative creatures; kingdoms
and worlds in crisis; is so meticulously crafted, it would come as no
surprise if it rises to be counted as a classic. K.M. Weiland's
imagination shows no bounds, the settings, mechanics, and characters are
well developed; I fell in love with the endearing Rievers and the
fearless Cherazii. The protagonist, Chris Redston, aka The Gifted,
has a foot in both worlds. He believes his presence in the beautiful
Lael - nothing more than a vivid dream, but the actions of a few, set
off a cascade of dominos which threatens his existence and the lives of
the ones he loves. With the help of Princess Allara The Searcher, her
guardian Quinnon, and a cryptic Garowai, plus a host of fantastical
characters, Chris works to put things right before all is lost. I would give this book 6 stars if possible, and recommend you don't wait to pick it up.
There are still a few more days to download some great NaNo freebies. You don't have to be part of the event to take advantage of the offer, all which is required, is your email. There are a few nuggets here - so be quick, because once December rolls around, they'll be gone. There are 18 downloads, which could be helpful for any WIP. Freebies here. Happy reading, happy writing~
Whew! What a ride. Twenty-six days of slapping the keyboard and I have over fifty-four thousand words to show for it. There are many who have double that score; I tip my hat to them. It must have taken dedication indeed to pass the 100,000 word mark. When I accepted this challenge, I wasn't sure how far I would get. I did not make a promise to myself, that I would go until the end, but, I did promise to put my butt in chair and write; stopping when I could no longer continue. As the word tally mounted, it became my inspiration to see how much farther I could take it. Before I knew it, I had typed "The End." What a feeling this was. Now, my fingers are cramped, my brain is mush, but I have a warm glow, [in part due to consumption of a celebratory Nog] but also by realizing I can do it. I can type a rough manuscript in a month, and my household will not crumble around me. Thank you to those who through the course of this endeavor, cheered me on, and to those who kept me accountable when they'd asked how it was going. I appreciate you all. Happy writing friends ~
8 days remaining, and I have 8,111 words to meet the target of 50,000
words. Having a schedule and remaining on task has proven out. By the
end of this month, I’ll have a first draft of a new title. How sweet is that?! The target word count won’t give me a complete
story, so I’ll keep on until the end of the month and see where I land.
Time away from social media has helped; I’ve used it to clack away at my keyboard. Well, I think I’ll reward myself with an egg nog and a splash of
Captain Morgan’s Spiced rum and curl up by the fire with my latest read. The perfect way to round out a productive
session on a soggyFall afternoon.
I was asked by mega-talented Shelli Johnson (author of
Small as a Mustard Seed)
to take part in this Blog Hop, which started on the She Writes website sometime back and is still going strong.
If you’re an author and I tagged you for this blog hop, your instructions are
at the end of this post.
Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:
1.What is the working title of your book?
I have two; actually. But I think ARGUS will be released
first. 2. Where did the idea come from for the
My fascination with past lives, my Irish roots, and all
3. What genre does your book fall under?
YA Paranormal Romance Thriller
4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movierendition?
Jessica Stroupas Ciara Daniels
Tatum Channingas Lincoln Gray
Jackmanas Tyron O’Collins
Clive Owenas Rorke O’Collins
Clint Eastwoodas Kern
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
which survived the ages is threatened by the family she never knew; can Ciara learn
to harness the power which runs in her veins - accepting what she is, or will
she lose everything?
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Published by small press Purple Birch Publishing.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
A long time; one year. Then, I discovered the original story
was too much like a famous author’stitle. I had
two choices, abandon the project, or salvage what I could. I opted for the
latter. I’m now in the process of tweaking the revised story. 8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
There are components in my story which I haven’t read in other
books. The story also contains elements which are common themes in most
Paranormal Romances; so it’s hard to nail down exactly which titles would be
similar to mine. I guess you’ll have to read it, and make up your own
9. Who or What inspired you to write this book?
I wanted to write a book my daughters and I would enjoy
reading. I was inspired by the rich history in my Irish background; I wanted to
explore that side of my heritage. My family and friends have been a source of
strength; they kept me going when I felt like walking away from this project. 10. What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
If you enjoy urban thrillers, romance, or the paranormal,
this is the story for you. Ancient Magicks,
past lives, and a vicious killer bent on a single objective.
Thank you to Shelli Johnson for thinking of me, when she
passed on the blog hop. If you’re an author and I tagged you for the Next Big
Thing Blog Hop, here’s how it works….
Use this format for your post.
Include an introduction to your interview post and a link to
the person who tagged you for participation.
Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (Work In
Progress). Include pictures if possible.
Tag one to five other writers/bloggers by sending them an
email and then add their links to the end of your interview post. Their answers
should go up the week after.
Your blog post would need to be up between November 19th and 23rd .
If you are on She Writes, you put the post up there too.
Your blog post should be labeled: The Next Big Thing Blog Hop.
Whew! Made it through day 5, now let's see if I can push through the rest of the twenty-five days. I've discovered I NEED to keep to a schedule, otherwise I find myself scrambling late at night to meet the minimum word count. Setting goals is easy - meeting them; meh, not so much! :D With my new routine, I've found I'm more productive. Why has this become so important to me; you may have asked? Well, I have a tendency to procrastinate, and if I don't stick with it, I may never get to the end of my next book. Once there, I'm okay, but sometimes the journey to the last page can be long. NaNo is the kick in the pants I need. Blogging about it keeps me accountable. The result will be a book. Whether it's published, remains to be seen. :) Happy writing friends ~