Following Through with a Plan

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Good morning! Yes, I’m back. It’s been a crazy couple of months. Between writing and tax season, I’ve been so busy. But I’m getting back on track and ready to get this blog back up and running. So, here’s to the rest of the year!

How many times have you made a plan and then didn’t go through with it? Maybe you set a book release and you couldn’t finish the book in time. It’s always good to make sure you write down your plan and try to keep to it. This keeps you from procrastinating. But what happens when everything is against you such as time, life, and all the things in between? Here’s a couple of tips for making things happen when you need them to…

I’ve been trying to finish my latest WIP and somehow I let my busy schedule take over. This is the first time in a long time that I didn’t meet my deadline. And yes, I procrastinated to the point that the book went to the back burner. As a writer, that hurts. 

Let’s talk planning. When you have a book idea, excitement bubbles up and you’re pumped. But there’s more to it than just the idea. You’ve got to focus on the idea and make sure that it can be fleshed out into a book. This step needs a plan. 

Look at it like framing a house. Without the frame, you wouldn’t have the house. A book plan is the same thing. Here are the steps to getting that book into the hands of your readers…

  1. The Idea – Yes, this is the exciting stage where you get the spark. You know what I’m talking about. It’s the moment you’re sitting there and all of a sudden you have the best idea for a new book or series. But not every book idea comes to life. I’ve got so many ideas written down that didn’t meet the muster. 
  2. The Outline – Ok, I know some of you are more of a seat of the pants writer, but let me tell you, an outline can be the make or break for some ideas. When I have an idea, I sit down and figure out how it can go. Even if it’s just a simple, beat by beat outline, it helps you to know if you can make it work. 
  3. Flesh it out – Now that you have the idea and the simple outline, you can go back and give it some flesh. Fill it out and see if you have enough to make it a book. This is the point of no return or return to the pile of idea. Here is where you make sure that the idea can go the full gauntlet or get chopped off before it’s even finished.
  4. Scheduling – Here’s where you need to be honest with yourself. If you think your idea can go 25,000 words, don’t schedule a release in 25 days. Maybe you can get it written in 15 days, but there’s so much more that goes into it than writing it. Make sure that you schedule every step of the writing process. I had to learn this the hard way. Here’s a couple of items to think about when scheduling: A. Cover design B. First Draft C. Revisions D. Read Through E. Editing F. Prerelease Marketing G. Final Draft, and this is just a few steps.
  5. Writing – Now, here is the fun part. You finally get to put words on the page. The first draft isn’t perfect, so don’t expect it to be. Get the bones on paper, then go back and fill it in. 
  6. First Draft Read Through – This stage is fun. The bones of your book are there. You’ve finished the first part of the process which to me, can be the hardest part. This is the stage where you’ll know it the idea will actually make it. If the outline didn’t catch it, the first draft will.
  7. Edit, Edit, Edit – Now, read it out loud as you edit. This is important before it goes to your editor. My editor has asked me before if I even read it before I sent it to her. LOL! 
  8. Cover Design – This process for me comes first, but a lot of writers don’t design theirs until this stage. Sometimes the cover comes to me with the idea. Make sure the cover represents your work. Don’t do something to deceive your readers. And simple still works… 
  9. Marketing – Plan your marketing early in the process. Set a budget and schedule some prerelease ads. You don’t have to spend a bundle to get results. Just make sure to stagger your ads. Don’t overwhelm yourself. 
  10. Release Day – Make this a party. Setup a blog post. Send out Tweets, Facebook posts, Pinterest, TikTok blurbs, and any other social media you use. Make it fun and relaxed. 

I know this was a little crazy, but putting a book out to readers needs a plan. And my way may not work for everyone, but it does for me. Hope it helps in some way.

 

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 

 

Monday Writing Tips

Now, on to today’s writing tip. You know when you have a story in your head, but you have a deadline looming on another story. Yeah, that’s a problem for a writer. But I have a solution, one that helps me out.

Good morning! I do hope everyone had a great weekend. For me, it was awesome.

When a new story idea comes into my brain, I have to get some of the idea down on paper or it will interrupt my other work. So, this is my tip. Give yourself at thirty minutes to write it down or put down an outline. Once you’ve given the new story a voice, it will help you to get back to the previous piece of work. Trust me, it helps.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You….

Let the light in…

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Good Tuesday morning! Grab a cup of coffee and settle in for a beautiful morning!

After a short stint of writer’s block, the words are flowing in. As I told you in a previous post, the outlining part of Scrivener has helped. I’m keeping my focus and know where the story is going. Actually, the process is making it flow faster than ever. Not to mention, I’m not straying off on little detours that will derail the story.

I feel like the light has been let in and everything is clear. It’s a great feeling and I can’t wait to share this story with everyone. So, have you let the light shine in on your story yet. Tell me about your breakthroughs in writing.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

When the story knocks on your door…

Good morning! It’s Friday. Can you believe that Thanksgiving is just around the corner? Wow! Time is flying.

So, as a writer, I’ve had so many stories running through my head. But sometimes I feel like a story doesn’t hold enough punch to actually publish. Then there are those stories that come at you and take your breath away. Those are the ones that make you push everything you’re working on aside to get them written.

I’m working on one of those at the moment. It’s been simmering for a while, but it was just simmering, not boiling over. Well, in the last couple of weeks it’s beginning to move past simmer into boiling. It’s like I can see everything so clear. The characters, the places, and the story, but as a writer, you know how it goes when you start to put it on paper, there are holes that need to be filled in.

The first day I worked on the manuscript, I typed the whole first chapter without slowing down. It was exciting. The funny thing is, I haven’t outlined it, yet… And if you’ve read my blog long enough, you know I’m an outliner.

So, what are you working on today? Anything that took you by surprise, or maybe just slipped in gradually?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Three cups & a book…

Good Thursday morning! I do hope you’re all well…

This morning I’m working on the outline for the 2nd book in the Wishful Harbor Series. It’s exciting when you start a new manuscript, but it’s scary too! As a writer, you want to pull the reader in with the first paragraph, but what if you don’t? Publishing your work is scary, but satisfying when you see the sales and responses from readers.

As I outline, I have a bad habit of writing instead of outlining. Yep, some of my outlining will be used in the actual book because I get carried away, but that’s fine. One thing that helps is I use Scrivener, so I can set up my chapters and copy/paste the part I love that will go in the book. Yep, another win for Scrivener.

But, along with writing, I have to grab another cup of coffee to keep me going. So, I’d best get back to finishing this outline and getting another cup of coffee.

So, great writing and May God Bless You…

Stories filling my head…Yikes!

Good Wednesday morning! It’s halfway to the weekend, so relax a little. You’ve got this.

As a writer, sometimes the stories fill my head and I can’t get them out fast enough. Some days it’s hard to focus on one story without the other stories trying to edge their way in. That’s my problem at the moment. I have so many stories running through my head that sometimes I think my head might explode.

The picture I have of my brain is a little hamster running on her wheel. Yep, that’s my brain for sure. So, how do I prioritize12551866924_826fc1afef this craziness filling my head, I outline. I have so many stories pushing for first place in line, but only one or two can hold that spot at a time. To help with the breaking in line syndrome, I sit down and outline the fussiest, pushiest stories. At least that puts them at ease, for a time, but soon they are pushy again.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this is not a problem exactly. As a writer, this is a good problem to have, you just have to learn how to keep your stories in line, which is the hard part.

So, how do you wrangle the stories running rampant through your brain?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…