Category Archives: For Writers

My Path to Publication… (More like my rocky road.) by Ashlyn Chase

An excellent, inspiring article by Ashlyn Chase. You don’t want to miss this one!

 

I’ve always been extremely creative. I missed the clues that I might enjoy writing…like loving my creative writing class in high school and even earning an A+ from a tough teacher, but like I said—Duh. I had already decided to pursue fine art, so I stubbornly stuck to that goal. But at Mass College of Art I discovered there were far more talented people than I, and we were all going to starve. LOL

Fast forward several years with twists and turns like marriage, birth, divorce, and I became an RN to put food on the table. In nursing, creativity is highly discouraged by doctors who want you to follow their orders to the letter. Sheesh. I needed an outlet!

I took a course in screenwriting. That taught me how to tell stories, but Hollywood passed on my romantic comedies. Oh well. I lived closer to New York, anyway. So I turned my ‘movies’ into novels and found where I fit in.

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Well behaved women rarely make history.” Well, I don’t have to worry about that! I monitored my reading tastes to see what I might like to spend months writing. (Novels are a hellova lot longer and more difficult to write than screenplays.) I discovered that I liked reading the hot stuff! When I accepted this (and stopped blushing) I tried writing a steambath of a novel.

Back in the early part of this century, traditional publishers held the reigns. ebooks were almost unheard of. I had joined RWA (Romance Writers of America) and was trying the traditional route along with everyone else. I received a lot of good advice and continued to practice my craft, while submitting my first finished novel and getting a slew of rejection letters. Many self-published authors have missed this awesome opportunity to thicken their skin. There’s nothing like being told, ‘Thanks but no thanks’ to boost your self-esteem. (Pass the chocolate, please.)

Anyway, a fellow author who liked my writing but knew what I was up against, mentioned I might try epublishing. I didn’t know what it was. Heck, nobody did back in 2002. So, I looked into it and researched a few electronic publishers. I narrowed it down to three and submitted my manuscript. (Not the story that was rejected everywhere. By then I had taken the hint.) But I used what I’d learned from it and wrote a better book. I wasn’t letting rejection discourage me.

My ego finally got a boost when all three epublishers offered contracts! Oh my goodness. I picked one and began publishing. Let’s fast forward again. My ebooks were doing well. Reviews were positive and my romantic comedies were being nominated for (and winning) awards! I was having fun! Cool. I got from my readers what I didn’t get from a lot of my fellow writers. Respect. Epublished authors at the time were considered inferior. Erotica authors were considered the red-headed stepchildren. I was both.

Time to fast forward again. I kept trying to find a publisher that would put my books on the shelves at Barnes and Noble, make bookmarks for me, contract non-English translations…in other words, someone to make me world famous. LOL. I’m nothing if not a big dreamer. But it’s a funny thing about dreams. They won’t come true if you let them go. Eventually I wound up in the right place at the right time with the right idea. Lo and behold, I received “the call!” Yes. Editors used to call, not email. Some still do.

In 2010 my first mass market paperback came out. It was the start of a series. The series did well and garnered a spin-off series. The spin-off did well and they contracted another spin-off! Okay…we’re nine books into this thing (as of the August 1st 2017 release, Never Dare a Dragon.)

Are we done? Not by a long shot. I’m calling my Sourcebooks titles “The series that never ends.” I’m working on book 2 of another spin-off now. I’ll give you the run-down in easily digestible bites.

Strange Neighbors – the name of the book and series that started it all. Book 2 is The Werewolf Upstairs and book 3 is The Vampire Next Door.

1st Spin off series: Flirting with Fangs. Book 1 is Flirting Under a Full Moon; Book 2 is How to Date a Dragon; Book 3 is Kissing with Fangs.

2nd Spin off series: Boston Dragons. Book 1 is I Dream of Dragons; Book 2 is My Wild Irish Dragon; and book 3 is Never Dare a Dragon. Here, we’re up to date—publishing-wise.

3rd spin off series under contract: Phoenix Brothers. Book 1 is Hooked on a Phoenix. Finished and sent to my editor, waiting for the dreaded red pen. And what am I working on now? Book 2. Title? I don’t really know yet. I’m calling it Wing-men. I’ve rarely kept the titles I started with, so I’ll have to get back to you on that.

By the titles alone, I hope you can tell what I write. Light paranormal romance. And I’m not just an epublished or traditionally published author. Now I’m an Indie author too. The rights to several of my old epublished books have reverted to me. So, I’m updating, rewriting, and rereleasing many of these books, independently.

The roller coaster ride continues. I have an agent next to me now. She keeps me from screaming too loud or demanding the ride stop, because I can’t take it anymore.

Advice to the newbie… Yikes! Are you sure you want to do this? If no one can talk you out of it, no matter how many sensible arguments they throw at you, you just might make it. Ignore the haters and hang in there.

And if you’d like some company, I’ve started a wonderful conference for readers and writers that takes place in New England, smack dab in the middle of foliage season!

 

 

Wow…I’ve always been fascinated with New England. What a wonderful conference…I’d love to come. Maybe I’ll plan to do that.

Thanks so much for joining me today, Ashlyn!

 

Find Ashlyn here:

http://www.ashlynchase.com
https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAshlynChase

22 Comments

Filed under Author Blog Post, For Writers

Tuesday’s Tantalizing Tidbits & Teasers – May 30, 2017

Good morning and Happy Tuesday!!

Authors, share your books and feel free to chat about them, or chat about other authors’ books.  (Each week the location of the lines I request will change. You may share info from the same book each week, or you can choose a different one.)

Readers, enjoy the tidbits and such, feel free to comment…like…follow…buy, etc.

WARNING: Some content might be graphic and/or offensive to some

It’s simple to join in… Authors, choose any of your books (one book per author per week, please), and share the following in the comments:

  1. Title and genre
  2. From any page that ends with the digit five, such as 5, 15, 25, 35, etc. (any version, Word Doc, Print, Kindle, etc), from the 30th line, share five sentences. (You can choose to share sentences that come before or after, if part of the sentence is on the chosen line-see example below)
  3. Share a fun or interesting fact about the book, the characters, the setting, etc.
  4. List ONE buy link
  5. List your Twitter and FB Fan/Author pages so everyone can like/follow
  6. Optional – List the price of your book, especially if it’s on sale!

Example – For the below, if I were choosing the second line, I would use the entire sentence, the words before and after for this line:  ‘…a red torrent, draining my life as I screamed in…’

If I were using line 5, I could either use the ‘Where had that come from’ line or the ‘For such a’ line, and I would use an entire sentence.

Don’t worry that the line might not be all that engaging, or that it might not make much sense. This is all for fun and to share a glimpse of you and your stories. I’ll be sharing one of my books in the comments so you can see how it’s done. 😀

A new post with a new location goes up every Tuesday…have fun!

6 Comments

Filed under Author Blog Post, Entertainment, For Writers

Tuesday’s Tantalizing Tidbits & Teasers – May 22, 2017

Good morning and Happy Tuesday!!

Authors, share your books and feel free to chat about them, or chat about other authors’ books.  (Each week the location of the lines I request will change. You may share info from the same book each week, or you can choose a different one.)

Readers, enjoy the tidbits and such, feel free to comment…like…follow…buy, etc.

WARNING: Some content might be graphic and/or offensive to some

It’s simple to join in… Authors, choose any of your books (one book per author per week, please), and share the following in the comments:

  1. Title and genre
  2. From any page that ends with the digit five, such as 5, 15, 25, 35, etc. (any version, Word Doc, Print, Kindle, etc), from the 22nd line, share four sentences. (You can choose to share sentences that comes before or after, if part of the sentence is on the chosen line-see example below)
  3. Share a fun or interesting fact about the book, the characters, the setting, etc.
  4. List ONE buy link
  5. List your Twitter and FB Fan/Author pages so everyone can like/follow
  6. Optional – List the price of your book, especially if it’s on sale!

Example – For the below, if I were choosing the second line, I would use the entire sentence, the words before and after for this line:  ‘…a red torrent, draining my life as I screamed in…’

If I were using line 5, I could either use the ‘Where had that come from’ line or the ‘For such a’ line, and I would use an entire sentence.

Don’t worry that the line might not be all that engaging, or that it might not make much sense. This is all for fun and to share a glimpse of you and your stories. I’ll be sharing one of my books in the comments so you can see how it’s done. 😀

A new post with a new location goes up every Tuesday…have fun!

7 Comments

Filed under Author Blog Post, Entertainment, For Writers

Tuesday’s Tantalizing Tidbits & Teasers – May 16, 2017

Good morning and Happy Tuesday!!

Authors, share your books and feel free to chat about them, or chat about other authors’ books.  (Each week the location of the lines I request will change. You may share info from the same book each week, or you can choose a different one.)

Readers, enjoy the tidbits and such, feel free to comment…like…follow…buy, etc.

WARNING: Some content might be graphic and/or offensive to some

It’s simple to join in… Authors, choose any of your books (one book per author per week, please), and share the following in the comments:

  1. Title and genre
  2. From any page that ends with the digit five, such as 5, 15, 25, 35, etc. (any version, Word Doc, Print, Kindle, etc), from the 16th line, share three sentences. (You can choose to share sentences that comes before or after, if part of the sentence is on the chosen line-see example below)
  3. Share a fun or interesting fact about the book, the characters, the setting, etc.
  4. List ONE buy link
  5. List your Twitter and FB Fan/Author pages so everyone can like/follow
  6. Optional – List the price of your book, especially if it’s on sale!

Example – For the below, if I were choosing the second line, I would use the entire sentence, the words before and after for this line:  ‘…a red torrent, draining my life as I screamed in…’

If I were using line 5, I could either use the ‘Where had that come from’ line or the ‘For such a’ line, and I would use an entire sentence.

Don’t worry that the line might not be all that engaging, or that it might not make much sense. This is all for fun and to share a glimpse of you and your stories. I’ll be sharing one of my books in the comments so you can see how it’s done. 😀

A new post with a new location goes up every Tuesday…have fun!

1 Comment

Filed under Author Blog Post, Entertainment, For Writers

Tuesday’s Tantalizing Tidbits & Teasers

Good morning and Happy Tuesday!!

Authors, share your books and feel free to chat about them, or chat about other authors’ books.  (Each week the location of the lines I request will change. You may share info from the same book each week, or you can choose a different one.)

Readers, enjoy the tidbits and such, feel free to comment…like…follow…buy, etc.

WARNING: Some content might be graphic and/or offensive to some

It’s simple to join in… Authors, choose any of your books (one book per author per week, please), and share the following in the comments:

  1. Title and genre
  2. From any page that ends with the digit five, such as 5, 15, 25, 35, etc. (any version, Word Doc, Print, Kindle, etc), from the ninth line, share two sentences. (You can choose to share sentences that comes before or after, if part of the sentence is on the chosen line-see example below)
  3. Share a fun or interesting fact about the book, the characters, the setting, etc.
  4. List ONE buy link
  5. List your Twitter and FB Fan/Author pages so everyone can like/follow
  6. Optional – List the price of your book, especially if it’s on sale!

Example – For the below, if I were choosing the second line, I would use the entire sentence, the words before and after for this line:  ‘…a red torrent, draining my life as I screamed in…’

If I were using line 5, I could either use the ‘Where had that come from’ line or the ‘For such a’ line, and I would use an entire sentence.

Don’t worry that the line might not be all that engaging, or that it might not make much sense. This is all for fun and to share a glimpse of you and your stories. I’ll be sharing one of my books in the comments so you can see how it’s done. 😀

A new post with a new location goes up every Tuesday…have fun!

12 Comments

Filed under Author Blog Post, Entertainment, For Writers

Tuesday’s Tantalizing Tidbits & Teasers

Good morning and Happy Tuesday!! I’m starting a new weekly feature where I invite authors to share about their books in the comments. Each week the location of the lines I request will change.

Authors, share your books and feel free to chat about them, or about other authors’ books.

Readers, enjoy the tidbits and such, feel free to comment…like…follow…buy, etc.

WARNING: Some content might be graphic and/or offensive to some

It’s simple to join in… Authors, choose any of your books (one book per author per week, please), and share the following in the comments:

  1. Title and genre
  2. From page five (any version, Word Doc, Print, Kindle, etc), from the second line, share one sentence. (You can choose to share a sentence that comes before or after, if part of the sentence is on the chosen line-see example below)
  3. Share a fun or interesting fact about the book, the characters, the setting, etc.
  4. List ONE buy link
  5. List your Twitter and FB Fan/Author pages so everyone can like/follow
  6. Optional – List the price of your book, especially if it’s on sale!

Example – For this week, I would use the entire sentence, the words before and after for this line:  ‘…a red torrent, draining my life as I screamed in…’

If I were using line 5, I could either use the ‘Where had that come from’ line or the ‘For such a’ line, and I would use an entire sentence.

Don’t worry that the line might not be all that engaging, or that it might not make much sense. This is all for fun and to share a glimpse of you and your stories. I’ll be sharing one of my books in the comments so you can see how it’s done. 😀

A new post with a new location goes up every Tuesday…have fun!

15 Comments

Filed under Author Blog Post, Entertainment, For Writers

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Describing Your Point of View Character

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ How to describe a character in his or her POV without using a mirror…

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others :). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…

TWoMinuteTip

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

 

It’s rather difficult to describe a character, when you are in that character’s Point of View.  It’s tempting to have a character look in a mirror and describe what they see, or just describe themselves in a way that really isn’t natural, such as:

(We’re in Sally’s POV):

“Sally brushed back her silky blonde hair, which hung down her back in luxurious waves. Her gorgeous emerald eyes filled with tears as her curvaceous body settled onto the sofa.”

Doesn’t really work, does it? The character seems vain and self-absorbed.

Here are a few suggestions/ideas to get you through the tricky task of POV character description:

Have the character think of themselves in comparison to another:

She’d always envied her sister’s sleek blonde hair. Her own dark unruly curls gave her the perpetual appearance of having just climbed out of bed.

Have another character comment on their looks:

“Your eyes are not really blue, and not really green…more a combination of the two, like a Caribbean sea. I could look into them for hours.”

In action, which can be done several ways:

She pushed her glasses further up her nose.

She slid her jeans on over her hips, wishing she had a little more ‘hip’ to fill them out.

He rubbed his hands over the day’s worth of whiskers covering his jaw.

He ducked his head under the doorframe and stepped into the room.

Her hand looked so small wrapped in his.

She twisted her long hair into a knot on top of her head.

I quickly applied eyeliner, grateful I’d inherited my mother’s complexion so I could get by with little make up.

Introspection:

People think because I’m small, I’m a pushover.

I rolled my eyes. Another man who couldn’t see past the blonde hair and blue eyes to the intelligent woman beneath.

It wouldn’t be the first time someone was intimidated by his size.

Don’t describe while you’re in that character’s POV. Wait and let another character describe them when you are in the other character’s POV

Describe sparingly. You need very little description, and you can sprinkle it throughout when it can come naturally, rather than providing an entire list of features all at once. This way you can avoid author intrusion, or having a self-absorbed, egotistical character.

Any tricks you use that you’d like to share?

Until next time…Happy Writing!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

ONLY 99 cents!! 

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

2 minute writing tip final

 

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

4 Comments

Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor, Tuesday Two-Minute Tips

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Some of the Best Writing Quotes

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Today’s a lazy day, so I’m cheating by sharing quotes…

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others :). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…

TWoMinuteTip

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

Let’s just have some fun and be inspired by quotes…

(This first one is something I’m trying HARD to adapt. I’ve been reading and re-reading Chris Fox’s 5,000 Words Per Hour and one of the main takeaways, and the first thing a writer should do, is daily writing sprints, tracking your progress each day, etc. I think this is critical, yet I haven’t made it a habit…yet. It might be a good idea to schedule a certain time per day and do your sprints with other authors, even if you are just starting out with 5 minute sprints a day for the first week) – 

Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.
– Jane Yolen

I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose.
– Stephen King

A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling us how hard it is to be God.
– Sidney Sheldon

First, find out what your hero wants, then just follow him!
– Ray Bradbury

“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”
—Ernest Hemingway

I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged.
– Erica Jong

I do not over-intellectualise the production process. I try to keep it simple: Tell the damned story.
—Tom Clancy, WD

There is only one plot—things are not what they seem.
—Jim Thompson

Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.
– William Faulkner

Everywhere I go I’m asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them.
– Flannery O’Connor

Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.
– Robert A. Heinlein

Fiction is about stuff that’s screwed up.

– Nancy Kress

All the information you need can be given in dialogue.
– Elmore Leonard

 

Please feel free to share some of your faves in the comments.

Until next time…Happy Writing!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

ONLY 99 cents!! 

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

2 minute writing tip final

 

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

10 Comments

Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor, Tuesday Two-Minute Tips

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Creating an Image Document

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s (VERY) quick tip ~ Inserting your story images directly into your manuscript document

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others :). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…

TWoMinuteTip

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

(This is going to be an extremely short, quick ‘tip’ post today. More like an idea/suggestion. :))

Most authors are somewhat ‘visual’ and many like to use images for their setting and character as ‘inspiration’ while writing. I have done the same, and sometimes I use a Pinterest Board, sometimes I print out images, etc. But, I’ve found the best way for me is to insert the images directly into my manuscript. That way, each time I am writing, the images are right there in front of me. It’s pretty much a no-brainer, and most of you, if you are interested in using images as you write, have already thought to do it. However, in case you haven’t, I thought I’d share. 🙂

First, of course, you find images that fit your story. You can even find images of a room or landscape that fit a particular scene. Right click on the image and you will see an option to ‘copy image.’ Click on that, then you simply go into your document and ‘paste’ where you want the image to appear.

Here is an example. You can click on the link below to see the entire PDF. All the images at the top are ones I will use later. Obviously, not much has been written for each scene so far, but you can see the process.

 

africa-2

africa-images

What do you think? Are you visual? Do you have tricks for ‘seeing’ your scene and characters?

Until next time…Happy Writing!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

ONLY 99 cents!! 

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

2 minute writing tip final

 

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

1 Comment

Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor, Tuesday Two-Minute Tips

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Pssst…I have a Secret

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Using secrets to keep readers turning pages

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others :). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…

TWoMinuteTip

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

Ha, I bet, after reading the title, you’re dying to hear the secret, right? Come on, admit. It’s human nature. We all love to be in on secrets. We love hearing them, having them, telling them, so on and so forth. Secrets in your story can be a great tool to engage readers. There are a few different ways to use them. You can introduce a secret that is being withheld from readers, and they’ll keep reading to learn the secret. You can let the readers in on a secret that your character(s) don’t know, and they’ll keep reading to see how the characters will react once they learn the secret, which is lots of fun, because your audience loves being in on the surprise with you.

Something to keep in mind, though, it’s also crucial to have a big payoff when the secret is revealed. I’ve begun watching the tv show, “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce,” which is kind of an odd choice for me, because it lacks my two favorite things in shows and movies; humor and murder. (I know, a weird combo). The show is fairly amusing, but totally devoid of killings. However, it caught my attention so I’m watching anyway. There are lots of secrets on the show, but in one instance, the payoff was a letdown. Spoiler Alert: The main couple is divorcing when the show opens. As the episodes play out, they decide to try to reconcile. The man learns that he impregnated his much younger ex-girlfriend, whom he cheated with (or with whom he cheated, I suppose, is the proper wording) during the marriage. Other characters in the show knew about the pregnancy, but his soon-to-be ex wife did not, and these people kept telling him, “You better tell Abby before she finds out on her own” and “Wow, how is Abby going to react?” etc, etc. Since the couple were trying to make a precarious, contentious marriage work, I waited anxiously for her to find out. I just knew she was going to explode. Finally, the episode came where she learned the truth and, much to my disappointment, she took it like a champ. I’m thinking, why all the build-up, waiting episode after episode for her to find out, if she’s all “oh, yeah? no biggie, that’s kinda cool, actually, cuz there’ll be a new baby around” about it. (I paraphrase). But, the point is, she should have lost her freaking mind. SO, don’t make that mistake. If you tease readers with a secret, you need to have a big reveal, and a big explosion.

I’m currently working on two WIPs simultaneously. One is only 12,000 words or so, and there’s not much time for a lot to happen. I have a little suspense, a little romance, but I’ve just realized, I can probably make it more enticing by adding a secret. So, I’m brainstorming a way to include one. My other WIP is my Martini Club 4 story, set in the 1940s. My heroine finds out a horrible secret about her mother, around mid-story. It has just occurred to me that I should let the readers in on the secret early in the book. Then, hopefully, they’ll keep reading because they will be eager for her to find out and see how she will react, how this knowledge will impact her life.

As you’re plotting (or for you pantsers, as your characters are writing the story for you ;)), maybe look for ways to work in a tantalizing secret. Your characters might not thank you, but your readers will. Oh yeah, and about that secret I mentioned in the title? Well, I guess you’ll just have to keep reading my posts to find out what it is. Muwahahahahaha….

Until next time…Happy Writing!

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ONLY 99 cents!! 

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

2 minute writing tip final

 

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*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

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16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

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