Thursday, February 29, 2024

Writing a novel for fun!

Writing a novel for fun can be a great creative outlet and a rewarding experience. When starting to write a novel, it's important to first come up with a compelling idea or concept that excites you. This could be a unique plot, interesting characters, or a specific setting that you find intriguing.

Once you have your idea, it's helpful to outline your novel to give yourself a roadmap to follow as you write. This can include creating character profiles, plotting out key events, and establishing the overall structure of your story.

When it comes to actually writing your novel, consistency is key. Set aside dedicated time each day or week to work on your manuscript, even if it's just for a short period. This will help you stay focused and make progress on your novel.

Don't be afraid to let your creativity flow and explore different ideas as you write. Writing a novel for fun should be an enjoyable experience, so allow yourself to experiment and take risks with your storytelling.

Remember, writing a novel is a process, and it's okay to make mistakes along the way. Editing and revising your work is an important part of the writing process, so don't be afraid to go back and make changes to improve your story.

Overall, writing a novel for fun is a wonderful way to express yourself and unleash your imagination. Enjoy the journey, and have fun bringing your story to life!

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Tuesday Tips: Getting started.

First off, don't worry about anything else until your book is written. 

The hardest part for new authors to finish their first book can vary from person to person. Some common challenges include finding the time and motivation to write consistently and overcoming self-doubt.

Perfectionism has killed many a good story. Navigating the complexities of storytelling and plot development is a skill that can only be learned by practice. 

Additionally, many new authors struggle with finding their unique voice and style, as well as dealing with writer's block and the fear of failure. I personally don't believe writer's block is a thing. Bad discipline and planning are what stop writers.

New authors just need to persevere and seek support from fellow writers or writing communities to overcome these challenges.

--Good luck. Finish things.

Monday, February 26, 2024

Kindle Unlimited!

Do you have Kindle Unlimited? It's like Netflix for Books! It lets you check out my books for free! All my novels and short stories are available on KU!

--- Check them out!

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Author Snacks: More important than you think...

Many authors find that light and easy-to-eat snacks are ideal, as they don't require much effort or distract from the writing process. 

Some common choices include fresh fruit like grapes or berries, nuts such as almonds or cashews, or even a small bowl of popcorn. Ultimately, the best snack for an author may vary depending on their personal taste and dietary preferences.

My best snack is chocolate-covered, roasted, coffee beans...

Click the image to get yours now...

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Soon: Spring Writer Retreat

I will be heading out for a twelve-day Writer Retreat later this month. In those twelve days, I will write the first draft of an entire novel. I will average 5,000 to 10,000 words a day. But to do that, I will need to do some prep work:

  • Write a detailed outline. 20-30 pages. Scene-by-scene bullets.
  • Character sheets for all the main characters.
  • Plot location planning with maps.
  • A playlist that sets the tone.
  • No distractions. No internet except my phone.
  • Great food and drink for all 12 days, so I need not go anywhere.
  • Lots of DVDs to watch in the evenings.
  • Put the Outline into Scrivener before you go.

For this retreat, I will be in a mountain cabin in West Virginia. I go places by myself to remove the distractions of my daily life. Mostly because I LOVE my favorite distractions. My wife, my pets, my ultra high-speed Internet, and every streaming service available. I love all of that. 

Plus, it doesn't hurt that this cabin has a hot tub...

Friday, February 16, 2024

6 Years ago today!

 Today, six years ago, was my last day at work. It's been a fast, glorious six years.

I think I will take my wife out to lunch to celebrate! 2,190 days of freedom!

I still don't know why I wake up at 6am every day...

Thursday, February 15, 2024

I started outlining my next novel today...

I will be using the Nine Act Structure. 

In the Nine Act structure, the story is divided into nine acts, each with its own purpose and focus. These acts are:

1. Act 1:
Introduction - This act introduces the main characters, setting, and conflict of the story. It sets the stage for the events to come.

2. Act 2: Rising Action - This act builds upon the introduction and develops the conflict further. It introduces obstacles and complications that the characters must overcome.

3. Act 3: Midpoint - This act marks the halfway point of the story and often contains a major turning point or revelation. It can change the direction of the plot or reveal new information.

4. Act 4: Rising Action - This act continues to build upon the conflict and raises the stakes for the characters. It introduces new challenges and obstacles.

5. Act 5: Climax - This act is the highest point of tension and conflict in the story. It is the moment of greatest intensity and often leads to a resolution or change in the story.

6. Act 6: Falling Action - This act follows the climax and begins to resolve the conflict. It ties up loose ends and starts to bring the story towards its conclusion.

7. Act 7: Resolution - This act brings the story to a close and provides a resolution for the main conflict. It ties up any remaining loose ends and provides closure for the characters and the reader.

8. Act 8: Epilogue - This act is optional and provides a glimpse into the future of the characters or the world of the story. It can offer additional closure or leave room for interpretation.

9. Act 9: Aftermath - This act reflects on the events of the story and explores the consequences and aftermath of the conflict. It allows the reader to reflect on the story and its impact.

The Nine Act structure provides a clear roadmap for writers to follow, ensuring that their story is well-paced and engaging. It helps to create a sense of progression and development, keeping the reader hooked from beginning to end. Wish me luck!!

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Advice if you are just getting started

One of the best tips is to read extensively in the genre you want to write in. 

This will help you understand the conventions, styles, and techniques used by successful authors in that genre.

Additionally, it's important to establish a writing routine and set aside dedicated time for writing. Consistency and discipline are key! 

Another tip is to write freely without worrying too much about perfection in the first draft. Just let your ideas flow and revise later. 

Finally, don't be afraid to seek feedback from others, whether it's through writing groups, workshops, or beta readers. Constructive criticism can greatly improve your writing skills.

Friday, February 9, 2024

Casting: Revenge of the Render

Yesterday, I mentioned the character sheets that I use. Here is a quick glimpse into the method of my writing madness for Revenge of the Render. I create a cast of the main characters in all my novels. Here is an example:

--Emma Stone as Jade Church! Emma, contact me for movie options! I'll give you a good deal!

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Character Sheets

I am currently preparing for my 10-day writer retreat that begins later this month. Part of the prep is creating a detailed outline of the book I will write and character sheets for the main characters. My next book is titled: Revenge of the Render. I have created character sheets for the entire cast.
Here is what I include in my character sheets:
  • Character Name: Jade Church
    Emma Stone as Jade Church

  • Age: 25
  • Gender: Female
  • Species/Race: Human
  • Physical Description: Red hair, fit, 
  • Personality Traits: Insecure, sheltered, naive
  • Background/History: Raised on a remote farm planet
  • Skills/Abilities: spoilers
  • Weaknesses/Limitations: spoilers
  • Motivations/Goals: spoilers
  • Relationships/Friendships: spoilers
  • Conflict/Obstacles: spoilers
  • Character Arc/Development: spoilers
  • Casting Photo: See attached
I really enjoy fleshing out the characters this way. It makes it way easier to crank the writing machine! These character sheets are also very useful to the Audio Edition Narrators.

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Quotes of the Week

"A poet is a nightingale who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds." 
- Percy Bysshe Shelley

"A writer is someone who can make a riddle out of an answer." 
- Karl Kraus

"The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth." 
- Jean Cocteau

"A true poet does not bother to be poetical. Nor does a nursery gardener scent his roses." 
- Jean Cocteau

"A writer is a world trapped in a person." 
- Victor Hugo 

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Tuesday Tips: Various Kinds of Editors...

If you are just starting out, you should know that there are a lot of different kinds of Editors.

1. Developmental Editors: These editors focus on the big-picture elements of your manuscript, such as plot, character development, pacing, and overall structure. They provide feedback and suggestions to help you strengthen your story.

2. Copy Editors: Copy editors focus on the technical aspects of your writing, including grammar, spelling, punctuation, and style. They ensure your manuscript is error-free and polished, making it ready for publication.

3. Line Editors: Line editors work on a sentence level, focusing on improving the flow, clarity, and coherence of your writing. They help refine your prose, making it more engaging and readable.

4. Proofreaders: Proofreaders have a keen eye for detail and focus on catching any remaining errors or typos in your manuscript. They ensure your work is flawless before it goes to print or gets published.

5. Content Editors: Content editors specialize in specific genres or subject matters. They provide expertise and guidance in shaping your content to appeal to your target audience. They can help you with genre-specific elements, such as world-building in fantasy or historical accuracy in historical fiction.

Remember, the type of editor you choose will depend on your specific needs and goals as an indie author. It's always a good idea to research and find an editor who specializes in your genre or has experience working with indie authors.

Monday, February 5, 2024

On Sale now!

 Available in Kindle, Paperback, Hardback, and AUDIO editions!

--Here is a sneak peek into the Audio Edition:  Piper's Run

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Reading habits are changing.

When I published my first novel, Science Fiction was the second most popular genre with regard to sales. It was not a conscious decision to write them based on popularity. I just wrote what I like to read.

Every now and then I look at the trends in sales. Indie authors are becoming way more mainstream. Also notable is that Mystery/Thrillers has become the #1 genre.

In terms of fiction book sales, the most popular genres currently are: 

  1. mystery/thriller, 
  2. romance, 
  3. science fiction/fantasy, 
  4. young adult. 
These genres have a wide readership and consistently perform well in terms of sales. However, it's important to note that popularity can vary depending on factors such as region and individual preferences.