March Writing Tip 3

If writing was easy, everyone would be able to do it. Ghostwriters would be out of jobs.

There would be no reason/purpose for writing tips/advice.

And no matter how seasoned you are as a writer, you will get stumped on what words to use or in this week’s writing tip, overusing certain words.

In edits writers take care of this. But it’s good to keep these kinds of charts as a reminder of where to start once we get to editing.

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March Writing Tip 2

I love reading cheat sheets like this. I definitely do not study them and stick to them religiously but they are helpful. One thing I’ve learned about body langauge in novels, is to not make too much use of them. It would be like overusing dailogue tags. The story would consist of nothing but characters’ body language, at least that’s what it would seem like to the reader.

With everything in writing we have to be careful of how we used it.

I found this one on Pinterest and there are more like them that include different body language you can look up.

#happywriting.

March Writing Tip 1

Every bit of writing advice/tip I’ve shared so far are ones I’ve used and re-used myself. This one in particular I stumbled across last year and..it messed me up!

I was on my second paranormal romance. I’d typed the end. But I wasn’t feeling as confident about it as I should.

I had a completed manuscript, ready for edits and I couldn’t make myself get it submission ready.

Until I read this.

Everything fell into place like it had never before. I rewrote the first chapter, then the next and when I came to the third chapter I had to ask myself what I had been doing with the first manuscript. And the first one was by no means a first draft. Let me just clear that up. It was a fifth draft. One that I felt okay about getting submission ready. Which meant self-editing.

I wrote all about this journey here on wordpress and on my Facebook page. I think I frustrated some of my readers because they were expecting another paranormal romance right after The Wolf’s Choice and here I was rewriting the whole book. Basically writing a new book.

I’m not going to lie, this was work. It had me busy up until December 31st, but it was worth it. I was excited to share my story with the world. I recommend this piece of advice to anyone who has ever had a completed manuscript but didn’t quite feel as confident about it as they should.

#happywriting

March Novel Tip: What’s in a Name?

These are but a few examples of names that can inspire an author.

In my latest story the charcters changed names so many times that by the end of 2018 I had to keep reminders close by on who was who. From the main characters to the villian to secondary characters and flat characters. It was crazy at one point.

Here’s the thing…in books a name does matter. Forget what Shakespeare said, a character’s name introduces not just who they are but what they are to the reader. Tate does give off cheerful vibes and Grayson does make you think of someone mature and with wisdom. Grayson is a strong name. Solid. I would go so far as to say responsible. The same as Michael.

If you’re a writer and you find yourself obsessing about character names, than you are on the right track. Because names are important.

#happywriting

#happypublishing

February Writing Tip 3

I love movies. And I love analyzing movie scripts and taking tips from them for novel writing.

Sometimes it feels dangerous to have so many pages to tell your story on. So dangerous in fact, you can write yourself in circles. There seems to be no end. With movie scripts there’s no place for endless pieces of paper…for endless scenes…chapters. Looking at the bones of a movie script helps me to get to the bones of a manuscript. Then I do what all novelist do, I add the ‘meat’ of the story.

This piece of advice has become really helpful in grounding my writing. I hope it helps you too *smile*

#happywriting

February Writing Tip 2

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This is a helpful tip for romance writers. I recently read a book where everything emotion/thought was over analyzed and I kept saying, “Just show the story. I get it. Your character feels like crap right now…but for goodness-sake can we get on with it!”

This is where a beta reader, editor or friend can come in handy. I usually give msyelf permission on the first draft and even second to get everything out. Then during edits and rewrites I check everything.

From the get-go I’ve been a strong writer when it comes to character development. The emotional journey is important to me. But I’ll never over do it and bog the story down or lose intrigue. The character can’t be self-aware from the beginning.

This tip is very useful and a nice reminer when self-editing.

#happywriting

#happypublishing

February Writing Tip 1

All my books have different openings. And I’m sure a lot of writers can say that.

My latest work in progress starts with an action. I had rewritten it so many times. I do believe the type of opening allows the reader to know what pace the story’s going to be.

JRR Tokien let’s you know off the bat you need to sit back, get comfortable because you’re in for a journey. While Jane Austen makes you think “oh crap, she’s going to let us have it” and you sit up with a grin on your face.

We all know this, our opening setences/chapters are the most important. Which explains why we struggle with it so much.

One thing I do to get over that struggle is to give myself permission to suck horribly with the knowledge that I can always rewrite! *laughs*

#happywriting

#happypublishingjourney

January Writing Tip 4

Funnily enough, this was a hard one for me to grasp in recent years.

As someone who wanted to write for Harlequin, I literally entered their So You Think You Can Write competition as a newbie author with no know-how whatsover. I wrote the kind of novel I thought they would want.

When I didn’t make the cut, I looked at my novel again and rewrote some of it. But it still had that Harlequin vibe. My second contemporary romance I wrote again for a Harlequin writing competition. I made it to the top 5, but didn’t win. That novel was also geared towards the publisher and though I cared about the story (like I do with all my writing), it wasn’t like this quote from Laini Taylor.

The Wolf’s Choice became this quote for me. If I walked into a bookstore or if I was browsing online in an e-bookstore…what book, what story will intrigue me?

It took me three books to get to a place as an author where I’m more interested in writing stories for myself than what I think I publisher wants.

Nothing wrong with that.

It just didn’t work for me.

#happywriting

#publishingjourney

January Writing Tip 3

I’m a romance author. If you didn’t know I just wanted to put it out there before you burn me at the stake for putting a ‘kissing tip’ here.

The topic got my attention last year when a Facebook writer friend had a mini ‘rant’ about kisses in romance novels that start with the guy kissing the girl to silence her. I didn’t know that could be upsetting to a reader. So I went and did a little search on kisses and also different types of kisses in novels.

So here are a top 20 kisses you can find in romance novels and of cousre other types of novels too.

Thank you to the person who compiled this list!

#happywriting

#happypublishingjourney

Do You Journal?

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One of the early signs that I’d end up writing professionally was the fact that I kept journals from a young age. At first I liked the romanticism of it all, then I’d like that I could write secrets in codes inside and then it became part of my psyche as a reflective human being.

The act of writing down my thoughts, not just events but how I felt about them, how I internalized actions and behavior, became the first stirrings of writerly observations.

In my teenage years I would switch from writing poetry, stories and weekly entries into my journal. At varsity as life became busier, taken up by studies, societies and friends, writing took a bit of a back seat. I mostly focused on poetry and keeping a journal. Then in my final year of undergrad when I received a new computer, I started to write stories again.

I’ve heard that writers should keep a journal. I don’t know if I fully agree with it or not. I’m undecided *smile* As someone who did/do still journal (though not as much as I have in the past) I can say that it does create a certain level of awareness. Reflection like this can sort out the cobwebs.

These days I like to keep journals and notebooks that centre more on developing book ideas. I keep my reflections for my poetry *smile*

In that sense, keeping a journal does serve a tangible purpose. You can go back to it and look at an outline, a mind map or character sketch you scribbled down. You can plot out a story in a few sentences. I once rewrote a synopsis in a journal because I needed a different form of writing. I couldn’t look at the synopsis on my laptop screen any more. Fixing it that way became problematic after a certain point, so I grabbed a pen and one of my journals. I could easily see where I hit a snag. Sometimes a different medium offers solutions.

Journaling definitely got me here…on this blog *smile* It wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t felt comfortable writing my thoughts down. So there’s that. Oh and did I mention I wrote for my school newspaper? *ha* What I’m getting to is this, keeping a journal can create confidence in expressing thoughts and ideas. That’s a plus for any author. For any type of writer.

So if you haven’t kept a journal before, and you’re serious about writing, why not try it for a month, see where it takes you. If it improves your way of writing, or not, come tell me about it *smile*