How to Write a Book – My First Writing Series

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WOW! First of all, a humongous thank you to all of you who have shared such wonderful responses to my first writing “series” on my YouTube Channel. For those of you who DON’T know, I started a new posting schedule. I post new book reviews here on my blog on Mondays, book-fun videos on my channel on Fridays, and writing videos to my channel on Wednesdays (Get it? Writing? Wednesdays? WRITING WEDNESDAYS? Ok. Enough fun with alliteration).

For my first few writing videos, I did a series on how to write your book. That is, how to plan to write your book. You know I’m a big outliner. I need all the details planned out! Lot’s of you guys ask me about my process, because you’re interested in outlining as well.

I finally shared it with you! The first three major steps of how I’ve outlined my book and book series, PLUS FREE DOWNLOADABLE TEMPLATES available for YOUR use! Just head on over to the RESOURCES page here on my website and you’ll find downloads for character profiles, outlines, and more!

Here’s the series all in one place, just in case you’d like to get started now, as you’re reading this:

  1. How I outline my books (video + template):
    1. Video:
    2. Template Download: Click HERE to download the FREE template for outlining your novel.
  2. How I profile my characters (video + template):
    1. Video:
    2. Template Download: Click HERE to download the FREE character profile template.
  3. How I created my series “bible” (video + template):
    1. Video:
    2. Template Download: Click HERE to download the FREE template for creating a series bible.

I hope these resources help you all, and if you have any requests for future content, please let me know. Until then, happy writing!

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You Don’t Know Me At All

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“You don’t know me at all.”

That’s what my characters have been saying to me anyways. All day, every day.

Yes, I wrote almost 80,000 words of their deepest thoughts and feelings. I spent almost an entire year in their heads, outlining and writing, and outlining again. Then I started editing after completing the most difficult draft of my life, and I realized, I didn’t know these characters at all.

I had so many questions for them. Why did they take the actions that they chose to take? Why didn’t they fight sometimes? On the flip side, why did they choose to fight at other times? What made them the way they were, and what forces influenced their decisions? As I was going through my manuscript, it was clear my characters needed more. No, they deserved more. Their stories are powerful to me, and I want them to one day reach other people with just as much power and impact on their lives.

So, I created a series bible and a character profile worksheet in order to help me better understand my characters and what I needed to do in order to strengthen their story and message.

I am no stranger to outlining. I am a hardcore plotter! So much so that I spent MONTHS outlining before I even began drafting, because I was so determined on figuring everything – every last detail – out before I even began drafting. And yet, even a draft later, I still felt like I had nothing figured out.

So I went back to the drawing board. But that’s not always a bad thing! In fact, sometimes it is the best thing you can do for your story, no matter where you are in the process. Outlining, drafting, editing, or furiously punching at the wall of writer’s block that keeps your creative inspiration at bay. That’s why the templates for both of these resources are FREE to download in my RESOURCES page here on my website.

My current draft is just the beginning for my story! And filling out these worksheets and exercises has not only helped me understand my characters better, it’s also reignited the fire inside me that burns for this story. The passion I thought would die during the long, grueling editing phase. I highly recommend doing character profiling or writing exercises to get to know your characters, even if you don’t use my resources. It can only help you!

Anyways, that’s all I have for you today. I suppose it’s sort of a “writing update” as I don’t have any reviews to share with you. Just a little bit of the behind the scenes of what’s been going on, and to make sure you knew about my new resources if you didn’t already. Thanks so much for reading, if you did, and if you have any editing tips don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments!

Until next time,

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Healthy Habits for Writers and Readers

Hello everyone and thank you so much for clicking over here. Today on my YouTube channel I published a video called “Healthy Habits for Writers.” These are little tips and tricks for things you can do to make sure you’re still being active and leading a healthy lifestyle, even if you have a desk job or don’t get out much (I mean, why would you want to get out, when you could be surrounded by books, am I right???).

Hope you enjoy! Let me know what you think of this type of content for the future by clicking over to the YouTube video and commenting their, and subscribing to my channel if you haven’t already.

Until next time,

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#SupportGoodBlogs #SupportGoodContent

img_8457Hey! You! Yes you!

Here’s the thing about writing… you thought you chose this career because you hate numbers, right? Wrong! Numbers are even more important to writers than they are to mathematicians!

Example A:

A writer goes in to interview for a professional writing job…

Writer: I know my resume only has fast food worker on it, but I have a degree and I’m really talented!

Interviewer: oh that’s no problem, we accept entry-level people all the time. How’s your freelance writing going?

Writer: uhhh

Interviewer: Well, do you at least have a blog!

Writer: oh, yes!

Interviewer: Tell me the numbers

Writer: *stares in horror*

Now, the writer could try to explain that they have hundreds of followers on IG, maybe even thousands on Twitter or another platform – but does that matter to the publishing industry professional? Well, it’s important, but it’s secondary to how many people *actually* read your writing. img_8459

Numbers are important! And for bloggers and book reviewers? The same rules apply. Book blogging is EXPENSIVE. Have you seen the price of books? So a lot of us work with publishers or professional services to get free review copies of books. But no publisher is going to send a free copy of a book to someone, who’s reviews are only read by their mom and the 80 year old cat lady down the street from them who only signed up for the mailing list by accident while they were trying to order more cat food. They care about numbers! What happens when you don’t have numbers?

Blogger in blog post: Hey guys, and welcome back to another book review and blog post! Sorry, I don’t actually have a review for you this week… I didn’t have any books to review! I guess the future of this blog is pretty much… Well…

*silence*

Don’t even get me started on authors and indie-authors! The internet and internet traffic is one of the only opportunities they have to promote their work and *literally* make a living!!! Especially for self published Christian and inspirational authors, who don’t have the marketing team of a big publishing house to back them up. Without support and “numbers” – they might not be able to keep writing, because putting food on the table takes precedence. 

img_8461The internet is SATURATED with content. But it’s not all *good* content. Because what sells? Greed, deceit, drama, and negative content. Not necessarily the good stuff we want to fill our minds and hearts with, right?

This makes it even HARDER for a blogger whose goal is to create inspiring, faith-based content to break out into the industry. Because faith-based content, isn’t always the popular kind of content. Do you want to keep seeing positive content in your inbox? Then you need to start supporting the bloggers that bring that content to you, because it’s hard work. 

Over a thousand of you follow me on IG. Almost 200 on YouTube. On my blog? Ten of you. Ten. That’s like… one percent!!! 

I get it. We all hear the phrase *link in bio* but when do we ever actually CLICK the link in bio? Hardly ever. It’s not as accessible to us. We’d rather scroll. img_8458

Well guys, it’s really easy to get my reviews and follow my blog! All you have to do is click the link once, and go and sign up with your e-mail address! From then on, my posts will be sent right to your inbox. No more clicking and refreshing and clicking and refreshing. And as for me? No more posting messages like this!

And I’m not being greedy here. I want you to go and follow ALL of the blogs. Any reviewer, writer, or author that you know… If you like good content, support good content – because without support, that good content might start to disappear. 

I mean, for real. Even if you’re not interested in book bloggers or author blogs or review blogs. Chances are, you’re on WordPress because you like SOME kind of blog. You may even run a blog of your own! Lifestyle? Crafts? Tech blogging? Whatever it is, whatever blog you have, whatever blog you love – the message is the same! Support that blog. The numbers don’t just matter to us writers and reviewers, they matter to anyone who is trying to turn their dream into reality. To make their passions their full-time job. If you know someone pursuing a creative endeavor, you need to support them.

img_8462You know that I’m giving shout outs to other bloggers who share my blog on my Instagram stories. Even though I can’t speak for other bloggers, share share their blogs too, and share this message if you agree with it. Don’t forget to hashtag it #SupportGoodBlogs and #SupportGoodContent. Because it takes a village, and each of you are a part of my village!

Let’s all keep supporting each other and building positive communities, alright?

I’m going to keep reaching out to other bloggers, because I don’t just want to be the speaker on the soapbox. I want to practice what I preach too. If you think you have a blog that I’d be interested in supporting, be sure to comment it! I’m also going to start committing more time to this platform, and investing in this blog more. I can’t expect a following to arise suddenly, when there isn’t much content to be consumed. Good thing is, it’s the New Year! It’s the perfect time to start fresh and set goals, and these are just some of mine. I hope supporting fellow creators is on your list too!

 

Until next time,

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I FINISHED MY FIRST DRAFT

IMG_6169 So, NaNoWriMo, that thing I signed up for? Yeah, that was a lot. Sorry I haven’t been blogging the whole experience, I was hospitalized for author related symptoms like stress and caffeine addiction (Joke. Kidding. I’m fine).

It did drain me though! There were moments where I was positive that I wasn’t going to make it. “Oh well, I thought, I’ll finish this book eventually, even if it takes my five or ten years…”

So, here’s my news. I finished my first draft! I finished the story! I typed “THE END” at the bottom of my manuscript, and it felt AMAZING.

BUT, don’t congratulate me yet. I came up 7,000 words (roughly) short of “winning” NaNoWriMo. My total word count right now is somewhere around 72,000 words (and climbing, as I do edits and rewrite some parts that were, admittedly, lacking a certain “finesse”). However, only about 40,000 of those words were from NaNoWriMo, so I’m under the 50,000 required for it to be an *official* win. I’m also shy of my original goal for my completed manuscript to be 80,000 words, but I know I’m an underwriter, and I can fix it as I edit!!!

So did I win officially? No. But I definitely won personally, and you can bet I’m buying myself a winner T-Shirt regardless! I deserve that reward, and so do you, even if you only wrote five words, five thousand words, or five hundred thousand words.

BTW: If you can write five hundred thousand words in a month, please call me. Teach me your wizard ways.

Everyone is a winner, every time they open their manuscript, write a couple (or more) words, add to their Pinterest aesthetic boards, redo their outline, get lost on Spotify finding songs that just make you FEEL like your characters are sitting right beside you. You. Are. A. Winner.

So don’t get caught up in the numbers game, celebrate your success!

I sure am!!!

Until next time,

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