Ways to Plan Your Novel…

There are many ways to plan a novel just as there are many ways to Plot a novel. How do you plan depends on who you are and how you organize your ideas.

First, it’s good to know what kind of planner you are pertaining to your books. You may be the most organized person you know (ahem, me!) but you find while planning and writing your book, that may or may not be the case.

For me, I’m definitely a planner, working out all the details I can before I begin writing, but I found that my stories (and characters) don’t always cooperate well. If you’re characters are anything like mine, they will definitely throw things out of whack… while other characters just appear as you write! Although that can create some awesome plot twists and more action to your story, it can be difficult to regain your footing on the story after the fact.

Never the less, I believe it’s good to have some sort of plan even if it’s small scribbles on a napkin or pages of notes.

Planner vs Pantser:

When planning a novel there are many factors to take into account. Are you a planner or a pantser. Or perhaps you’re like me and you dabble in both.

Planner

  • Those with a method of writing from start to finish.
  • Planning plot points, character profiles, story maps, setting, theme, premise, the whole lot.
  • They take their time to research, outline, study and collect their thoughts.

Pantser

  • Writers who rely on instinct and intuition to accomplish their story.
  • They add elements as they go along – plot twists, characters, conclicts, etc.
  • They will at times delete large sections to make their stories what they should be to keep readers interested.

Plantser

  • Writers who plan plot points, research, create characters, conflict, tension, story maps, setting theme, premise, outline and more only to have it ripped to shreds by an epiphany of a plot twist, the addition of a character or the devastation of a run away conflict.
  • They will plan elements before hand and add things as they go cause, you know your characters will never let you rest until you do as they want.
  • They take their time to research, while adding or deleting large sections of the story as needed. Taking what comes to mind as they write and incorporating it into what they are writing.

Ways to Plan:

Now that we have talked about the kind of planner you are, let’s get to the reason for this posts. Ways you can plan your novel.

Outlining

This can be as long, detailed, or information as you want. If you only want the plot points with character involvement then that’s all you need for you. Or if you want to go into detail of each point, the conflict that goes with, the characters involved, the setting, etc. It’s really lump to you how much you want to put into it.

Vision Board

This is a collection of pictures, notes, textures and more that correlate with your story. It’s your story with physical items to touch and feel to get your mind into the right atmosphere for your story.

Note Cards

I’ve heard a lot of authors will use note cards to assist with planning their novels. Writing down scenes, characters, plot event, and more. Mounting them up or organizing them in a way to keep their thoughts in order and in one place.

Worksheets (Brainstorming)

There are plenty worksheets floating around the net to help you plan any and all aspects of your story. From characters, to setting, to plot charts and more. One search will show you just how many there are. It’s up to you to sort through them, find the ones that help you the most and put them to use.

Timelines

Timelines will come in handy to plot events of your story in real time. From day to day, month to month and year to year depending on the time that passes within your novel(s).

Graphs (Plot lines)

As with timelines, these are graphs/charts that mark the major events of your story from beginning to the end.

Combination

Of course, you are able to use any and/or all of these if you so choose to plan out your novel. Pick and choose what works for you and forge forward on your writing journey.

So, what kind of plantser are you? Do you have any other thoughts on ways to plan? Share them so we can all find and hone our processes together!!

 

Want to see my process? Check it out here: Writing Process

Discover

This weeks word is Discover. What does it mean to discover? Well, let’s take a look before getting into some other aspects of the word.

What is Discover?

Dictionary

  • to see, get knowledge of, learn of, find, or find out; gain sight or knowledge of (something previously unseen or unknown)
  • to notice or realize
  • Archaic. to make known; reveal; disclose.

WIKI

  • To find or learn something for the first time.
  • To remove the cover from; to uncover (a head, building etc.).
  • To expose, uncover.
  • To create by moving a piece out of another piece’s line of attack.
  • To reveal (information); to divulge, make known.
  • To reconnoitre, explore (an area).
  • To manifest without design; to show; to exhibit.

 

So according to those Discover is the knowledge, uncovering, exploring or exhibiting of something new or unknown. This is where this word gets interesting. If you think of this word, what comes to mind? Discover what? I’ll be focusing on a few topics that relate to writing and you as a person for this post, so bear with me here.

Writing/Business:

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With anything in life, things are learned, discovered by doing, reading, and performing actions. Nothing is ever found by being stationary… unless it stumbles upon you. Than you are just darn lucky.

Discover Your Purpose?

Are you trying to discover the reason you are here? What to do with your life? What purpose you bring to others?

This is something that you will have to discover 😉 for yourself, but if you look deep down as to the things that interest you, your passions, and your dreams, you’ll find what you’re looking for. This may come to you when you least expect it, during a time you dread or a time you are happiest. Keep searching and you’ll find what you’re looking for.

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My Experience~

For me it was while working in a factory. Something I told myself I would never do… work in a factory or in fast food like my parents. Now working in a factory or fast food, if it’s a necessity isn’t bad, but I wanted better. I wanted to follow my dreams. What were those dreams? Well, up until my fist year in college, it was to be a teacher. When my financing fell through I had to bring in something and off to a factory I went.

While working on presses, I would dabble with stories, create characters, go on journeys that tested the character’s resolve, their strength and their love for others. That is when I knew I wanted to be an author. And yes, I’m still working on that story, but that’s what happens when you want it to be freakin’ awesome. You work and slave to bring it life and then sit on it for ten or so years before picking it up again to find out you have a really good story, but ten year younger you really didn’t have the writing skills you do now. It’ll get published, don’t worry. 🙂

Discover Your Businesses/Work?

As above you’ll discover what you were meant to do, but what about what you were meant to do as a source of income? How will you contribute to the household in a financial way? Now some of you may say, “Kelly, I’m a stay at home mom. I don’t have a job.”

Well, my response would be, “You absolutely have a job. You don’t contribute financially, but you do contribute in other ways.” I would imagine you as a stay at home mom (like myself) take care of the house, take care of the kids, homeschool them perhaps, run the errands, take care of the bills, laundry, and more. You contribute in so many other ways that benefit your household that having a normal job makes no sense.

Now if you aren’t a stay at home mom and you are looking for that perfect position, it’s much like that of your purpose. What interests you? What makes you the happiest? Is it working with children? Working with animals? Working with machines? Making music? Singing? Or are you content in the thought that no matter what you do you are contributing to the human race in some way?

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My Experience~

I met and fell in love with such a man. We decided after our son was born that it didn’t make sense to pay someone to watch, care, and teach our children. We were missing out on so much of our daughter’s life already that we didn’t want to miss more of either. What was the point? To help another succeed when we were miserable? That’s when it clicked. Though I haven’t made as much as I would like on my writing, brutal honesty here. I wouldn’t have it any other way. My husband works knowing that what he’s doing is helping others with the products he makes and that’s enough to keep him satisfied until things get better. Are there hard times? Of course. Does that way of thinking falter? Yes, but when you really sit down to think about it. What do you do on a daily basis, that makes you happy you’re doing it?

I get to bring you content that, I hope, is useful, insightful and inspiring while writing stories that invoke the same feelings while being able to raise and teach our children. My husband creates a product that makes building easier and until we are able to fulfill his dreams, he makes the most of what he has.

Think of the questions above and work out what you believe would make you wake each morning ready to tackle the day with the biggest smile because you know that what you do is making a difference in not only your life, but those you interact with or bring benefit to on a daily basis.

Discover New Processes?

What better way to discover something new, than to learn. They say you learn something new everyday. Though that’s sometimes hard to believe, I bet if you looked back on the day you would be able to find something you did learn that you didn’t know before.

When I first started writing full time, I had to discover processes on how to do the things and organize them in a way that I felt I could achieve the goals I set out to do. Now last year I hit every goal I had. I didn’t have many, but I did hit them.

This year, I overloaded myself and let things get in the way of my writing so my goal list is slowly being pushed off to next year, but that doesn’t get me down because I’ve learned and discovered that writing itself, is all about discovery.

You discover what works for you in planning your novels, plotting your novels, writing them, editing them, revising them, and then publishing them. If you are anything like me, you have not only a ton of notebooks on novel notes, but tons more on learning everything you can on the art of writing and I’m still learning.

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My Experience~

I tell my daughter all the time that you will never stop learning. She is the type who feels everything should be easy, that if you want to do something you should be able to do it without having to practice every day to learn to do it. Now she has an exceptional talent for acting. (I am her mother, I can say that, but it’s true.) She doesn’t like the fact that she will have to practice hard to make it as an actress. Imagine her disgust and disappointment when she discovered that you have to continually follow directions and practice your lines until you know them by heart, among other things. Good thing I’ve added Theatre to her curriculum this year.

Anyway, enough about my family; I may not know everything about writing, but you bet your butt I’m still learning and will continue to learn. There is no stoping when you are doing something you love to do. You do what you need to in order to keep going.

Discover New Items/Tech/Utensils?

Ah, here is something I am a complete sucker for. I love new things. Though I find not all of it pertains to me, but I love new things for writing even if I may not use them. I’m always looking for new sites, apps, items that will make writing fun, more organized and the process easier. See, I’m a sucker.

 

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Let me rant for a moment here… I love antiques so imagine my excitement when a new keyboard came out that has the feel and look of a typewriter that’s compatible with tablets, iPads, and desktops! The company is called Qwerkywriter and it is freakin’ awesome… looking. Unfortunately, I haven’t the money to get one… yet. I will though!

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Above is a screenshot of my actual profile from a week ago.

There is also the site 4thewords.com where you can write while going on your own adventure, fighting monster, collecting items and traveling to distant lands. Now who wouldn’t love that? It got me out of a writing slump and I couldn’t be happier!

Now what new tech/apps/etc do you have? Or would suggest? I’d love to hear about it! 😉

Personal:

Discovery into your personal life and yourself can also be a difficult and painful process, but sometimes you really need to look deep within yourself to find out who you really are.

You as a Person?

This is where discovery could get hard. You may know yourself pretty well and have everything figured out or you may be wondering what on earth you are here for. What are you alive for?

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You as a person must look deep within to find… you. Everyone says you should be happy with who you are on the inside as well as the outside. Now, do get me wrong. There are definitely some things on the outside I would absolutely love to change, but I love every part of me. I may not like it, but I do love it.

Heck, I created to beautiful children (with some help from my husband) with this body. I have a mind overflowing with the creation of worlds, characters, events, and more. My life is that of a happy family of four over run by four legged critters. If I look deep down. I love my life and I love me. Do you love you?

Look inside to discover who you are and what you want to be know for, for you.

Your Relationships?

 

Another thing to think about are your relationships with others. This means your family, friends, even the people you meet for a few seconds as you go about your day. What can you discover about those relationships that you might improve on?

Do you smile and greet those you walk by, or are you to busy worrying about other things to take the time to send a smile to someone? It takes two seconds to smile and make eye contact with someone and I believe wholeheartedly that, that one action can brighten someones day.

Knowing that someone took even that tiny amount of time to show a greeting makes me happy to be out and about.

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Family and friends are there for you when you need them, to lean on and take encouragement from. That may not always be the case, but I urge you to work on it. My relationships with some of my sisters were not the best and I realized that I wasn’t putting the effort in to voice my thoughts. I mean, how can they take you seriously if you don’t open your mouth, right?

Since then things have gotten better. Not the best, but definitely better. What can you do to improve the relationships you have? Discover who you are and how you can enrich others with just that… you.

So what are you ready to discover about yourself, your writing, career, anything? Comment below, I’d love to read about it!!

 

 

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Ways to Plot a Novel

There are plenty of ways to plot a novel and the way each author plots is completely up to them. Every author is different with different thoughts and ways of organizing them.

The way I plot could be, and probably is completely different from the way others plot their novels.

Plotting your novel is unique and special process each author must discover for themselves. This is where one process doesn’t fit all. When deciding how to plot your novel, there are many processes to choose from.

Plot Structures:

Character – Driven

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  • Your characters are the main reason the story moves along. Their motivation and drive to complete their mission, journey or quest is what keeps the story going until the very end.
  • Your characters through decisions, actions, and the journey itself, face their deepest fears and change as a result.

Snowflake Method

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  • This one is a bit more dynamic. You begin with a statement, just one statement
  • Then split that statement into two
  • Then into four statements and so on
    • It’s best to begin with a deep theme/premise
    • Then expand it to 2-3 sentences
    • Then expand that to 4-6 sentences and so on until you get a full plan of action for your book.

The Hero’s Journey

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  • The hero’s journey is a complex set of points along which the hero travels to complete his/her journey
    • They are (but not limited to) as follows
      • The Call to Action (They begin in their know world and receive call for adventure)
      • The Denial of the Quest (They ignore the request for some reason or another)
      • Acceptance After Debate (After inner turmoil and possible debate with mentor, they agree to journey)
      • Enemies and Allies, Who’s who (Journey leads them to many types of trouble as well as friends along the way)
      • Journey to the Beast
      • Facing Demons (hero defeats bad guy but not without consequences that change the character on a deeper level)
      • Reward/Success
      • The Return Journey (They strive to atone for past mistakes)
      • Conclusion
      • Life Continues/Next Journey (Return to live out days/Continue to the next journey of life)

 

The Fichtean Curve

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  • This type of story begins immediately with rising action
  • Framework for the story is scatter throughout the first half of the story with multiple crisis following.
  • Each crisis is followed swiftly by its own mini falling and rising action.
  • At last, the story reaches its climax conflict around two-thirds of the way.
  • Leaving the remaining pages for falling action, loose ends are tied up, and a new normality is established for characters.

In Media Res (thrillers, mysteries, horror)

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  • This type of novel begins in the middle of the story, usually at the 2nd-3rd crisis, though sometimes in-between the action
  • The plot still contains an upward trajectory with storyline sprinkled throughout (The beginning of the story is often told through flashbacks or in character conversations)
  • Several more crises occur to move the story along
  • The protagonist faces the climax
  • Followed by falling action
  • Resolution.

Combinations

You can combine any or all of the above to create your own plot structure that suits your needs. It’s really up to you, how your mind works, and what would be best for you as a person and author.

Snowflake with 3 Arc Structure

  • Snowflake with structure that points to important events while connecting those events to create an amazing story

Emphasis on Inner Plot

  • This contain a list of events containing a variation of the hero’s journey
  • Emphasis is held within the inner and outer plot, relating most outer story points to acts 1&3 leaving 2 as inner plot points

Major Midpoint Change

  • This is a form of the Hero’s Journey where there is a major change at the midpoint of the story. The character faces a shift in viewpoints or active goal.

Writing in Scenes

  • Plan your novel in Scenes, but be sure to include all the major plot points necessary to create a great story with emotion, action, adventure, and more.

Visual Mapping

  • Visual graphing/outlining of plot points, events, characters, emotion, and more. A picture of your character/story’s journey throughout the tale may be exactly what you need.

Things to Keep in Mind

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  • Does the beginning set up the end? Do all parts match up?
  • Think deeper, create a story that if the reader were involved it would feel real no matter the setting or events.
  • Write your ideas down, create an outline even if you don’t follow it completely. This will help you flesh out your plot points, events, crises and more.
  • Keep the reader in mind. Catch them on an emotional level – make them laugh, make them cry, make them feel hurt when a certain event happens. Make them FEEL.

Final Words…

The way you plot your novel is completely up to you as an author. One of these ways may work for you and then again none of them may work. You must travel your own journey to discover what works best for you. 

Me, I’m still on that journey. I’ve combined some of these to suit my creative mind, but there are still tweaks that need to be made. This is my plotting journey. What’s yours?

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Planning the Rest of the Year

Half of the year has gone… And it’s time to revisit, adjust, and plan the rest of the year.

With all that’s happened this year, my goals and plans have changed drastically. Things in life highjack the scene where you tumble down a rabbit hole so big you feel there is no end. But I’m determined to salvage what’s left of this year!

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I sat down a few days ago and looked at my plans realizing I’m months behind schedule for which I am eternally apologetic. We as authors never intend for life to throw curve balls, tornados, tsunamis, or earthquakes that swallow you whole to where if you decide to climb out your emerge bloody, sore, and exhausted, but victorious.

Writing/Editing/Revising/Publishing…

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After revamping the rest of my year I realized if I work hard, I can still publish the books I planned if I can keep focused and push through the difficult life of being a mother, wife, animal parent, and author at the same time. 😉  Writing, editing and revising are my top priorities as far as writing goes, right now. Don’t worry, my regular posts and newsletter are the few things I’ve been able to stay on top of.

4thewords.com

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I cannot recommend this site enough. Since I love fantasy, quests, and stories this site has done wonders to keep me going the last few weeks. I know I’ve mentioned it before and I’m mentioning it again, cause it’s freakin’ worth mentioning. If you haven’t checked it out, you must do so now!!

Climbing from the hole and emerging from the train wreck that’s been my life the last few months.

I’ve now created a schedule and so far I’m on track to do as my plans are laid out. I’m very happy with my progress these last few weeks and will continue to strive for my goals as I provide quality content and fantastic stories for you, my readers.

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Since I’ve been traversing this long tunnel, trying to find the light at the end. I’ve been a bit slow at posting, but my goal is to keep trudging through the sludge that has taken over my brain. It’s time to forge ahead, find a better way and keep going.

So if all goes according to plan; I’ll have another book out with updates to previous and a surprise at the end of the year. We shall see, so keep an eye open for that. 🙂

In the mean time, enjoy the Conquer the Darkness Series; join my newsletter to get bi-weekly updates, writing fun, and more.

Book Lineup

What about you? What have you been up to?

Reply and tell me how your writing has been going. Has it been a total train wreck like mine where even wizards and giants need help putting it back in line or are you cruising smoothly along enjoying the scenery and cocktails? In which case, I’m completely jealous and perhaps you can stop to pick me up on your way?!

 

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Purpose

Lately, I’ve been thinking of the word purpose. What is purpose and why do we need to have (a) purpose?

Well, as I do with all my words… here is what the dictionary/Wiki tells us…

What is Purpose?

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Dictionary:

  • The reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists
  • Have as one’s intention or objective
  • A person’s sense of resolve or determination

And WIKI:

  • An object to be reached; a target, aim; goal
  • A result that is desired’ an intention
  • The reason for which something is done, or the reason it is done in a particular way

So according to those Purpose is the reason/intention an action or decision is done or created. It could be a goal that you want to reach, a target you are aiming for or your sense of determination to reach that goal or target in your daily life, your business, your dreams and more.

Purpose in Life

So what is your purpose in life? Well, that could be anything from being the best mother, sister, person you can be to everyone to helping as many people as possible in the form of volunteering, through your job, or another avenue.

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What your purpose for life is has to be chosen by you. It’s what gets you up every morning, what excites you, what you enjoy on an emotional level. Your purpose is a plan for your life and helps define your personal goals. It fills you with passion and keeps you going throughout the day.

Purpose in Business

Purpose in your business is centered toward others. What can you do for others? This may take some time to figure out, but like us it matures, develops, and grows over time. It’s like a plant fighting the elements to grow roots and survive the heat of the afternoon sun. Once it gets established it flourishes into something beautiful for all to see.

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Once you find that purpose it will guide you and inspire you to create value for your customers, readers, and others who come along your site, product, or other aspect of your business.

Purpose for You

Purpose is shown through our actions, the items we create even if that is something fun with your children. It’s not something you can buy, or achieve. We must choose it for ourselves, nurture it, form it and grow it into something tangible.

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The goals, dreams, and tasks we try to achieve each day work toward your purpose. In small ways, your purpose reveals itself to you as you go about your day. Pay close attention and it will prosper. Once you have it, it will help you overcome the obstacle you’re facing to move forward with your goals, dreams, and your life.

How to Find Your Purpose

Many would say that your purpose (or purpose for your business) is your calling, what you enjoy, what gets you excited to rise each morning and get enough sleep at night, but how do you find your purpose?

That is something you need to discover for yourself. Look around you at what activities make you feel most excited or at ease? Sometimes your purpose isn’t always on the run, it’s resting and feeling fulfilled with what you’ve done.

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What is it that brings you the most joy? What makes you happiest about life and what do you value the most? Take some time to discover your purpose. Be attuned to what you do daily at home, at work and in your business, write down the things that answer the above questions. What those items have in common may just be your purpose. You will find it, keep searching.

Keep Your Purpose Visible

I read a recent TedTalk that discussed purpose. The author spoke of how he met a young man who referred to an activity his dad created for his boys. When putting a puzzle together, their father would hid the lid and have the boys complete the puzzle without the picture.

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He mentioned that your purpose is like that box top with the picture. You need to reference your purpose in order to achieve the goals and dreams you’ve placed in front of you. So when you find your purpose, keep that picture close and keep it visible.

What is your purpose in life? What is the purpose of your business? Do your goals serve a purpose?

 

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Where Did the Time Go… Half the Year Gone!!

Half of the year has gone… Where did the time go? It’s definitely going faster than I would like…

We are now one half of the way through the year and I thought it would be a good time to review my goals and see where my progress is at. So let’s get right into it…

Books

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Publish 3 Novels by 12/31

  • I’ve finally gotten back into a rhythm of sorts. Book One is now revised and published for your reading pleasure. Free as well as the Prequel
  • Book 4 is is now also revised, edited and published.
  • Book 5 is being written, though slower than I would have liked, I am getting somewhere with it now.

~ It took so much time to get back into things after all the run around in the first quarter. I’ve since made some changes, gotten back into rhythm and I’m off writing daily again!

Read 12 Books in Genre by 12/31

  • So far I’ve read 6 books of 12 and I’m reading two right now, so I would say that I’m ahead on this one!

~ I’m having a bit of trouble reading these two as it is hard to stay with the story. I have faith I’ll get through it though and keep moving forward. One page at a time, right?

Read 6 Books NOT in Genre by 12/31

  • One down, one in progress and four to go! Yeah, I’m behind here. I need to pick up another book.

Organize a group of Beta readers for my books by 4/30

  • I have been in contact with two wonderful people willing to beta read for me as I return the favor. Would you like to be a part of my team? Gain free ARC of my books? And read some awesome fiction? Click Beta Readers if interested and lets go on an adventure!

Find an Editor I connect with by 6/30

  • Uh! I haven’t even thought about this for more than two seconds! Still one of my goals, but my writing comes first and since I’ve lost time on that all my thoughts are on catching up. Hopefully, my next report will be better on this front.
  • Update: Still no editor, but I’m looking. Go some advice or know of an editor that won’t break my wallet? Please comment below and help a girl out!

Organize a Critique Group who enjoys my genre and will give productive feedback by 3/31

  • I’ve lost some much time I haven’t even been on Scribofile in a while.
  • I have traded work with two great people who are willing to keep the relationship going.
  • I’ve also started a Wattpad account and have submitted a short story. Head on over to check it out and tell me what you think!
  • Otherwise, that’s as far as I’ve gotten on this. Comment below or click Critique Partner if you’d be interested in being a critique partner for Paranormal Romance/Fantasy books.

Create and Implement Street and Review Team for Books by 4/30

  • Oh my goodness! Does the chaos never cease? Hopefully, I can get my butt into gear since I took nearly a month off for family reasons. One more thing to add to my list of things to do and very soon. If interested please sign up below!

           

Communication

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Post 26 Blog Posts Every Other Week in 2018

  • Luckily, this is one area I’ve excelled at. I haven’t missed a post yet!
  • I’ve begun to expand my posts to be writing related one week and the next is an inspirational word. You can check out my blog HERE!
  • Have a topic you would like me to elaborate on? Comment below and I will add it to my list!

Be More Communicative on Social Media and Online: Comment on Posts and in forums, Post advice, comments, thoughts and questions on social Media.

  • I’ve started posting irregularly on my social media accounts, but I’m starting to get better at being on there regularly. More to come!

Business

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I’ll keep these as a list as they don’t nee much explanation:

Grow Business by 25% by 12/31

~ Going Up!

Create New Products and Useful Printables for Readers and Writers – 2 by 12/31

~ Still Working on! You’re going to love these!

Start Using Video in Marketing by 6/30

~ Lots of video training, hit a road block, but hopefully will be up soon!

Create/Participate in 2 Big Events for Readers: Haha, I have thoughts, but what’s the fun in ruining the surprise here! 😉

~ Research and development are underway!

Create 100 total items for store by 1/31 and continue with 5 more per month after January. Want to visit my store, click HERE!

~ No where even close to 100 products, so I’m doing what I can and I’ll keep moving to gain more.

~ I may try a new storefront to get things out faster and easier, more to come on that!

Try out New list of Marketing Ideas and record results.

~ Working on and progressing well! So many ideas to implement!! I’m sure you’ve seen a few if you follow any of my social media!!

Revamp Webpage and Pages by 3/30

~ New site is up and most pages are complete, just a few more pics and tweaks to go! I have pictures but the SD card isn’t compatible with my computer so hopefully I’ll have them up in a week or two!!

Extras/Other

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What better way to keep up with your skill than to lean more about it?

Complete 3 Educational Courses by 12/31

~ I’ve completed three in the first four months! Still learning, but working on words more now to catch up!

Schedule Time to Work on Drawing and Take Art Classes (Once a Week)

~ This was going well in the first quarter, the second not so much, but I hope to get back into it soon!

What About You?

What About

Are you reaching your 2018 goals? 

Are you completing and accomplishing the tasks you set out to do? Let me know in the comments below. Let’s keep each other accountable and encouraged!

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Stories

Stories are all around us, in our every day lives and are a major part of who we are. They tell of memories, tales, adventures and journeys of those who came before and those that are today. Many stories relay lessons, quests, and hardships, but the best stories are the those that bear hardship, obstacles, and show achievement over them.

Let’s take a quick look at the word Story

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Definition:

The definition of the word story differs from one entry to another. A few are listed below:

According to Merriam-Webster.com a story is:

  • an account of incidents or events
  • a statement regarding the facts pertinent to a situation in question
  • anecdote; especially: an amusing one
  • a fictional narrative shorter than a novel; specifically: short story
  • the intrigue or plot of a narrative or dramatic work
  • a widely circulated rumor
  • lie, falsehood
  • legend, romance
  • a news article or broadcast

and according to Wikipedia a story is:

A narrative or story is a report of connected events, real or imaginary, presented in a sequence of written or spoken words, or still or moving images, or both.

From the Ages:

From early in history oral storytelling, pictures, and words have been an essential part of our lives. Stories have been pass from one generation to the next teaching tradition, providing a source of education, and creating fantastic tales of entertainment, sorrow, and love from the imagination and experiences of others.

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Stories come from all walks of life into the minds of us all, ready to be told and re-told; to entertain, educate, inspire and intrigue anyone willing to read or hear it. They come from inside you (and others): we create, remember or imagine stories to comfort, protect, learn from, or entertain not only ourselves but others.

Lessons:

Through stories we learn lessons of life, of love, how others overcame similar obstacles and we even learn a little about ourselves, whether the stories are about family or characters/others on a journey similar to the one we are taking now.

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Each story we read, we find a character with attributes akin to our own, a situation comparable to what we are currently traveling, or one that hits home on an emotional level. Every story we read, we learn from; even those we don’t finish. It’s not that we abandoned that story or that we will forever be a quitter, but what we learn is with that story, it didn’t resonate with us on an emotional or psychological level. Aspects of it didn’t catch and keep our interest causing us to put it down and never return to finish it.

I can personally say there has been one novel I was unable to finish and it was because I didn’t resonate with any of the characters. The setting was one I enjoyed reading, but the characters and their journey made no sense to me. I learned I needed more interaction between characters, though I’m more of an introvert, myself, I enjoy the connection between characters as they journey through the tale and this one didn’t have that.

How Stories Affects Our Daily Lives:

As with fiction certain events in our lives bring on pivotal turning points that guide our own story down a path of our choosing. Each decision we make is another point in which our story is created. Each choice leading us down another path, either with mountains and valleys or along a straight road. Some may be easy while others are difficult, having to climb your way to the next mountain only to realize there is another along your path. Along your journey some people come and go, while others stay to journey with you, battling the dragons, evil menace, and dark shadows; providing comic relief or comfort in your time of need.

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We find relief and freedom in the words written on the page, a sense of escape from the every day, sort of like a vacation for the mind. A place we can travel to escape work, the kids, the house, chores, anything so that we can spend some time away in fantasy or another reality for a few moments. It’s a way to relax and recharge before hitting the day with guns blazing.

Inspiration:

The one thing you can find anywhere is inspiration and stories are filled with it. Each page contains details of hope, courage, bravery, sorrow, danger, conflict, dreams, future, compassion, love, and so much more. Characters overcoming conflict to achieve their dreams, lines of understanding as those characters travel along the paths of their choosing. Connections made between characters, animals, creatures, or even objects. Experiences that shine and those that don’t.

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When we read stories, tales, and legends, we create connections not just with the characters within the stories, but the authors who created them as well as those around us who enjoyed the story as well. Through social media, blog comments, forums, and more we state our likes and dislikes about certain tales, making our emotional connection to the the stories known as people around the world comment and respond.

Stories are not just doors to other worlds, characters, settings, or information; they are doors to a connection much deeper, a connection we may be lacking these days; with others like us not just in our vicinity, but those around the world.

Final Thoughts:

What you take away from the stories you read and the journey you’re on are completely in the way you take in the details. Since we all have different opinions and interpret events and decisions differently, we’ll also take from a story what we perceive from the situations, characters, and the decisions they make. What you take from each story you read is up to you as is the journey you are currently taking.

Where are you in your story?

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What is a Story?

As I sit here typing this, I originally had a different topic to provide, but while reading a few nights ago, this came to mind and stuck so there has been a little change in topic for this post. Let’s get to it.

What Is a Story~

A story is a depiction of a character’s journey as they pursue an object, person, act of revenge, etc. while battling obstacles and challenges along the way.

Stories are here to entertain, educate, inspire and intrigue the masses with their tales of wonder, adventure, creative learning, and more. No matter what type of story created, there is someone out there ready to read it and many more endeavoring to write them.

Where They Come From~

They have been an intricate part of life, of history, and of dreams since we learned how to communicate long ago. It’s how we learned vital information that’s been passed on throughout the ages.

Stories grow from the every day. They are created to make a point, to imagine a possible future, to remind us of our past, the actions we’ve taken (successes or failures) as well as to comfort and entertain. They also have a tendency to blossom from daily lessons, random objects, experiences, and pain/emotions of the creator. Stories grow from everything around us.

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How They Are Created~

Ideas and thoughts are taken from events, activities, actions, objects of things we experience everyday. Stories are told from family member to family member on traditions, proper behavior, cultural history, moral values and more.

They can be told around a campfire to exhilarate, frighten, or enchant the young and the old of legends long past.

Stories spoken of ever day actions of every day folks, whether it be good deeds or bad, an adventure or overcoming of obstacle. Things others can relate to on a physical, emotional, or psychological level.

Others are created from memories of times past. Family vacations, celebrations, tradition, and more. One that goes around our family has to do with a fruitcake from 1998. Yep, that sucker is still being passed around! I’ll be posting on my Patreon page about that each year. Check it out!

Imagination is another source of stories. There are so many stories out there created solely on the writers imagination, their thoughts of how the characters are, how they react to different situations and obstacles they throw them into. It’s amazing what the imagination can create when you really sit down to put it together. While the inspiration can come from those who came before or the things around us. A story can be created from literally anything.

What Makes a Good Story~

Really, this is the opinion of the writer and of the reader. But looking at stories, the all have things that are in common to create fantastic stories.

  • Well-crafted characters
  • Experiences
  • Trials, obstacles, and challenges
  • Goals and motivation
  • Effective narrative
  • Pivotal turning points
  • Resolution
  • Resonating with readers

If you think of tales and stories today, think of what the author created to make the story one you come back to time and time again. Those aspects that make you want to revisit the characters, setting, and to journey once again along the path they choose to reach their destination. That’s what makes not only a good story, but a great one.

There are many types of stories told within fiction, non-fiction, through pictures, movies as well as art. Everything around us tells a story, you just have to look closely enough to find it within the chaos of life.

What is your favorite story and why? What is the best part of it? 

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Hope

At this point in the writing journey or year, many are burning out, dwindling and losing hope of finding time, money, encouragement, motivation, etc.

Part of my knew site is to provide you with encouragement and motivation as you travel along your journey. So every other week will be a focus word with details and motivation for you on that word.

Today’s word is Hope.

Some definitions of hope are:

Wiki

– an optimistic state of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes with respect to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large.

Dictionary.com

– the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best

– a person or thing in which expectations are centered

– to believe or look forward to with sister and reasonable confidence.

Now, the reason for the definition is to give you different aspects of the word, not to create a sense of stupidity or agitation. Hope has many ways it is looked at and I wanted you to see many of them.

You may be going though a tough time right now, but hope is what makes humans, human. It’s what keeps us go day after day, continuing with the things we love and the things we hate. Life is built on hope.

Viewing Hope:

Now there are different ways to view hope:

~ In a goal-oriented way – where hope is centered around the goals you make and whether or not you achieve your goals. “I hope I accomplish my goals today”

~ In the Journey we take – throughout our journey we come across things that cause us to “hope” for a better solution to our problems. The hope that there is a better way.

– Beliefs – As things in life become difficult to handle, hope is there to create a sense of peace and acceptance. Providing hope when all else seems lost.

I believe Emily Dickenson said it best when she stated:

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all.”

                                                           — Emily Dickinson
Allow that ‘thing’ to continue its tune, don’t fight what hope has put on your heart to achieve or overcome. Let it fill you to the point of overflow, allowing it to pass from you to those around you. Sometimes the best gift you can give is hope.
What is it that you are hoping right now? What is it that you are hoping to achieve, or overcome? 
Me ~ I am hoping I can catch up on my goals since I am a bit behind. That I can create a place for people to come and be encouraged, motivated, and inspired to achieve the dreams they’ve put in front of them.
What about you?

One Last Thing…

Are you looking for a new series to start? Looking for a great read(s) where the characters are battling to keep hope alive as they journey along the path set before them?

I’ve just finished revising book 1 of the Conquer the Darkness Series. And as an added bonus I’ve created the prequel as well. Both Free to download.

 

 

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A young boy, smart beyond his years is kidnapped for his research. The family left behind falls apart as they each handle the loss in their own way. He must stay alive to be saved by the brother who promised he would always be there for him.

 

 

 

 

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A young nurse finds out that her accident was not accident at all. Determined to find out the details forces her to face her past. With the help of new friends and an unexpected ally she faces her demons and finds out more about her herself than she ever thought possible. 

 

 

 

Download both Free and enjoy a new tale of those overcoming obstacles, finding hope in the every day, and defeating those who would do them and those close to them harm.

Join the Journey and Experience the Adventure!

 

 

 

 

 

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Events For Readers

As an author I am alway thinking of ways to engage my readers, to give back to those who support and read my work. Well today I wanted to give you, the reader, more than just books to read.

After doing a quick search, I realized there are so many events for readers and writers alike and I want to share some with you.

Conferences:

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Title: Readers & Writers

Locations: Seattle, WA & Tampa, FL

Dates: July 14 (WA) & August 25 (FL)

About: Meet Authors and Models from all over the world with an after party to enjoy

For More Information:readerswritersevents.com

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Title: Penned Con

Locations: St. Louis, MO

Dates: Sept 20-22

About: Keynote Speakers, informative panels, workshops, book signings with over 150 authors, parties, and so much more!

For More Information:Pennedcon.com

Retreat:

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Title: Christian Fiction Readers Retreat

Location: Rockville, Maryland

Date: 2018 is closed, Registration is open for April 5-6, 2019

About: This is a one day event gathering of Christian Fiction readers and authors. There will be featured speaker sessions, author panels, breakout sessions, prayer & worship along with author signings.

Meet and chat with authors, eat food, play games, enjoy giveaways and free books!

For More Information: Christian Fiction Readers Retreat

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Title: Reader Appreciation Weekend

Location: Milwaukee, WI

Date: 2018 is closed, April 2019

About: This is a one day event for readers to meet authors, have lunch, play games, and possibly a party or two!

Meet and chat with authors, eat food, play games, book signings and more!

For More Information: Reader Appreciation Weekend

Book Fair:

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Title: Book Lovers Convention and Book Fair

Location: Reno, NV

Date: May 15-20

About: If you are an author, reader, or anywhere in between there is something here for you to enjoy. From crafting your writing, to book events, to themed parties, there is something for everyone!

For More Information: Book Lovers Convention and Book Fair

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Title: Book Expo America

Location: New York City, New York

Date: May 30 – June 1

About: More business related for meet and greet for authors, booksellers, distributors, literary agents, publishers and more. Build relationships that last!

For More Information: Book Expo America

Other:

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Title: Romance Writers of America “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing

Location: Denver, CO

Date: July 21

About: A two hour free event, where the public is welcome to purchase books for a good cause.

For More Information: RWA “Readers for Life” Literary Autographing

Create Your Own:

There are many ways you can create your own reader events. Here are some I’ve thought of:

Book Clubs – These are pretty self explanatory as we have seen, heard or even participate in one.

Book Parties – Whether is a lunch party or a themed party based on a book, genre, or story, these can entertain readers for hours.

Giveaways – Also self explanatory, but you could always get creative and offer something unusual, but still book related. Perhaps an object used in the book or crazy author swag.

Scavenger Hunts – This is something I enjoyed greatly. Authors come together to create a scavenger hunt for readers to participate in for prizes. They can search within a series, within blog posts, or within the author website if a single author is performing the event. Have your readers find words to create a short story, a popular sentence, or anything else your creative mind can come up with.

Game Day – Something my family does each weekend is play board games. Search out games that are within the same genre, location, characters, etc . and play games to have some fun. One of my favorite games is called Shadows Over Camelot where you have to work together to defeat different battles from the tales of King Arthur. (One of my favorite tales!)

Extras:

Looking for more? I’ve got you covered! There are so many more than I could list here so below are links to many more for you to enjoy!

Romanced Redefined

African American Literature Book Club

Book Events By State

13 Literary Events for Readers

Know of any more events for writers to add to this list? Any other ways to engage readers with fun activities? Comment below, I’d love to hear about it!

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