NaNoWriMo is Just Around the Corner…

If you don’t know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, which takes place in the month of November every year.

A little more information…

NaNo-Horizontal-Logo-Web

Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month.

NaNoWriMo begins on November 1st every year and runs until November 30th. Authors from all walks of life are welcome to join thousands of others who wish to start their first, fifth, or hundredth story.

You are able to complete NaNoWriMo in any place where you can work with paper and pencil/pen or word processor. (You will need to keep track of your word count in order to participate and gain your certificate) Enter your word count daily to achieve your goal of 50,000 words. (That would be 1,667 words a day!)

Support

handshake-2009195_640

They provide ‘Regions’ and forums where you can ask questions, get motivation, and be involved in the online community of writers.

You are assigned a Region with a leader who is there to answer any questions you may have as well as provide any information you may need to know leading up to and during the NaNoWriMo.

Inspiration

graffiti-1450798_640

Need some help getting started? This is the perfect time as they are talking all about NaNo Prep as the weeks get closer to November. They also have events and pep talks from your leaders.

Looking for something more? Pinterest is a great place to find images to inspire your writing. Settings, characters, conflicts, you name it and you can find something there to help you on your journey.

Don’t forget about the forums where you can start discussions and get advice from others who are journeying alongside you as well as veteran NaNoWriMo participants. Ask questions, tells your problem or just vent the day. They’re good that way.

What Am I Doing For NaNoWriMo?

Well, that is the question, isn’t it?

question-mark-1106309_640

My original plan was to continue in a way with the Conquer the Darkness Series, which I’ve been working on for a while. I’m just about done working on writing the last book and have had plans for another with two other characters, Andrew and Laurie, which my sister is dying for me to write.

Though I love these characters and I want to do them justice, I sometimes feel I need a break from this series to work on something different.

So, I’d like to see what your thoughts are… should I continue with another story of this series? Or do you think I should start something new?

Check out my Facebook page to voice your opinion in the poll.

Are you planning to participate in NaNoWriMo this year? What do you plan to do for your project? Want to be ‘buddies’? Just look up my name and we can encourage each other throughout the month! Can’t wait!!

 

 

And… if you’re looking for something to read… I’ve got the perfect book for you to start!

 

Conquer Cover Final.jpg

Conquer E.S.

Conquer the Darkness Prequel (Short Story)

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.

 

AND…

 

Ray of Light

Conquer the Darkness Series

A nurse at the local hospital, Raylynn Bormarlian provides comfort and love to the patients she treats. But something inside keeps her from accepting the same love and comfort from others.  As memories of the nightmare she experienced long ago return, Raylynn is forced to confront a man that created so much misery, pain and anguish to her younger self in order to find what is hidden deeper in her soul.

Jynx Luminar is a top operative in an elite force determined to protect those with unusual powers and are in need of assistance returning to society after traumatic events. Assigned to protect and train the woman he once caused so much pain, he must find a way to tell her his secret before he loses her forever.

From their first scent, Raylynn and Jynx could not resist the attraction simmering between them.  Yet, Raylynn must face what has become her worst nightmare to forge forward with Jynx without fear of the past. Will they overcome their demons once entering the lab of a man who haunted her dreams and caused a terror so great she no longer willed to live? Will he find the courage to tell her of his past?

Both FREE to download on my Site, Check them out HERE and give me your feedback. I’m always looking to improve on my stories!

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:

literature-3033196_640

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.

vintage-1722329_640

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?

computer-2563737_640

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.

editing-1756958_640

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.

 

Screen Shot 2018-09-05 at 5.09.45 PM

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!

Screen Shot 2018-08-16 at 7.43.12 AM

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?

adult-beautiful-blur-935756

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.

fruits-3137112_640

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!!

 

 

SaveSave

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

woman-1771895_640

  • 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

ice-crystal-2871068_640

  • 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

vintage-1722329_640

  • 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

graphic-1714230_640

  • 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)

man-3338109_640

  • 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

woman-1172718_640

  • 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?

SaveSave

SaveSave

August’s Writing Theme: Writing Process

The writing process of an author/writer differs from person to person. Some will plan, outline, plot, and develop their novels down to the last quirk, research piece, aim, goal, setting detail, motivation, conflicting action, etc. Files, folder, documents, mind maps, aesthetic board, Pinterest board, Social Media polls all in place and filled with information for their novels, while others fly by the seat of their pants. Those are the ones who don’t plan, don’t map; they sit down and start writing. Then there is revising, editing, and publishing to worry about.

This month is all about your writing process and sharing what you do with others who are endeavoring to write, but have no idea where to start. Share yours below.
Writing Process

Example: When I first began writing, I would outline my story and then start writing. After taking a course by Nick Stephenson called Story Engines. I’ve found that fleshing out story details have helped me immensely with my writing and my storylines. He and fellow author Joe Nassise take you through their process on creating phases, answering questions,  scene list, and so much more. 

I’ve tweaked it to suit me and I’ve haven’t looked back. It’s a bit pricey, but well worth it. They also have a program called Your First 10K Readers that takes you through getting your first 10,000 readers. Although, I haven’t implemented all of there methods, it may be very helpful to you. 

Here is the basic categories for my process: 

  • Premise Worksheet
  • Final Premise
  • Initial Scene List
  • Single Sentence Summary
  • Scene Questions
  • Elevator Pitch
  • Rough Story ArcPreparation Phase
    • Mini Goal
    • Reactive Phase
    • Mini Goal
    • Proactive Phase
    • Mini Goal
    • Conclusion Phase
  • Synopsis
  • Product Description

I also have a very detailed worksheet I use to flesh out my characters that is three pages long. 

Now, even though I do this, my characters ~ like small children aways seen to veer from the path I choose for them. So, yes there are some things that aren’t in the finished product that are in my plans, but that’s the way writing it. 

Just for fun, let’s add in what changed throughout your story as you wrote it.

Example: I had one of my characters change occupations a quarter of the way through, not like she quit and changed, but out of the blue, one minute she’s a secretary and another she’s a nurse. I’ve also had new characters join the story when I had no intension for another character to enter the book at all. 

What does your writing process look like? What changed throughout your story that wasn’t intended? I’d love to hear about it. Comment below!

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!

arm-1284248_640

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…

editing-1756958_640

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

logo-4tw

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.

mistake-876597_640

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?!

 

SaveSave

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

literature-3033196_640

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.

typewriter-2306479_640

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.

girl-2607176_640

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.

children-1149671_640

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.

book-cover-1933686_1920

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?

SaveSave

May’s Writing Theme: Where is Your Progress At?

Since we are one quarter into the year, I thought we could write about (and analyze) where we are, where we are going, and what we have done to get us to this point. So for this month we are writing our progress on whatever you have going on right now. Writing related or not. We are here to support you!

Where is

 

Example: For my example this month I will refer you to my blog as I have already given my progress for the quarter there. My Progress So Far… Check it out to see where I am and where I plan to go to reach my goals.

SaveSave

My Progress so Far…

One quarter gone… Where did the time go?

We are now one quarter 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

stack-of-books-1001655__340

Publish 3 Novels by 12/31

  • I would like to say that I am progressing here, but it is definitely slow going as I am in the process of revising book one of the Conquer the Darkness Series due to a publishing conflict.
  • Book 4 is still in the editing stages due to the revision of book one
  • Book 5 is being written, though slower than I would have liked.

~ Some life events took precedence this quarter and I’ve gotten a bit behind here, but never fear, I’ll get back on track bringing you awesome stories and fantastic content!

Read 12 Books in Genre by 12/31

  • So far I have read three of the twelve books, so I am behind one book. The last book I read was really hard for me to get through and caused me to put it down for several days at a time before picking it back up.

~ Now that I am through that one, I’m ready to pick another and forge ahead!

Read 6 Books NOT in Genre by 12/31

  • One down, one in progress and four to go!

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

  • Again I’ve done research and have a goal of getting qualified readers for my Beta group, but have yet to gain actual people to be in the group. So, now I ask you… 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.

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

  • Yet another area I’ve worked on very little. I’ve signed up for Scribofile, which is on-line critiques of your work, but you have to critique and gain points before you can publish your own work to be critiqued.
  • 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 here.

           

Communication

feather-3237961_640

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!
  • 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

ideation-3267505_640

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

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

Start Using Video in Marketing by 6/30

~ Lots of video training, may get this up before scheduled!

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.

Try out New list of Marketing Ideas and record results.

~ Working on and progressing well!

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!

Extras/Other

classroom-2093744_640

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

Complete 3 Educational Courses by 12/31

~ I’ve complete three already and it’s only been four months!

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

~ This was going well, and 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!

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

A Story Grows as a Plant Grows

Spring is upon us and we are beginning to ready our garden for seeds/spuds. Yep, we are adding potatoes to our garden this year!! I can’t wait!

Since my little man loves gardening and all things that breath life, I am dedicating this post to him. Not to mention it’s his birthday today, so Happy birthday buddy! If not for him, my thought process would have skipped over this topic and on to the next.

Anyway, as we are deciding on seeds and what to plant where, my author mind took hold and contemplated as I often do… how a story is similar to a plant and how it grows.

Here is what I’ve noticed:

fall-maple-maple-seed-40026

The Seed:

The seed in the story is, and you’ve probably guessed this… the spark of inspiration. That first initial thought of “Wow, this could be something great!” or “I’ve got to write this down, this would make such a great story!” And you’re probably right! 😉

food-3040891_640

Germination:

This is where your story gets interesting, where it takes root as you write notes, plot, gather ideas for characters, settings, plot, conflict and the journey your characters will explore. The story will stretch it’s roots creating the beginning of something awesome!

macro-2266158_640

Growth:

As plants need nourishment, so to does the author. As a plant battles nature with weather, animals, and even humans, you to will discover the hardships of writing your story. Doubt, distraction, writer’s block, discouragement are all things we face as writers, but as the plant holds firm, you will too.

Find encouragement in others, inspiration in words and enjoyment in your characters, your setting and your plot twists to keep you motivated. Some plants may take days to flower while other take months or even years, but they WILL flower.

sun-flower-2656285_640

Polination:

This is the part of your story where you get down to the nitty gritty. As bees pollinate the flowers, you must go from place to place researching your story further with interviews, history, occupations, folklore, or whatever topic is in need of researching for your specific story. Enjoy this journey and have fun with it!

nature-2310598_640

Reproduction:

Reproduction is the act of bring things together to create a new and exciting being. In the same sense, you bring all the components together from your notes, research, interviews, and more to create a new and fascinating tale. The journey of the characters, the realism of the settings, relationships and conflict as they move along their path create something people are dying to read!

jamie-street-253819-unsplash

Spreading the Seeds:

Spread the seeds! Are you ready to enter the realm and start again with a series or did you discover a new tale while writing this one? Keep going with characters your readers love and create their story. Create your tale so that readers are coming back for more and sparking that seed of inspiration in others writers who dream to be where you are.

 

What do you think? Ever sit and think, “This is so much like writing!” What have you noticed around you that you could relate to the writing process? Comment below, I would love to hear your thoughts. 

 

SaveSave