Setting–Planning Your Story and Editing Your Scenes

What is a setting? Your elementary school English teacher probably said it’s the where and when of a story. True. But as a writer, we know that the setting is more than just the where and when. The weather and social climate can also be part of the setting. It can be to mood and emotions that the characters can’t express. It can be pure beauty, when a great writer and reader are paired up. The setting can speak to our souls as much as any character. It can make the reader long to live in that little cottage in the woods surrounded by fairies or in the bustling 1920’s city of Chicago. The setting can be so alive that it feels like a character in and of itself.

Linking an eBook Series Using KDP

Today I have a guest author for this post. Maggie Foster is a member of my writing group and a dear friend! I interviewed her for my book, From Rough Draft to Published. She mentored me through publishing process. She writes mysteries and currently has four books out. Linking an eBook Series Using KDP CONGRATULATIONS! You have a book (or two, or three) in a series, published through Kindle Direct Publishing and available on Amazon, and you know your readers will want an easy way to find the rest of them, no matter what book they pick up first. The keyword in that sentence is, “easy.” Now that Indie Publishing has taken off, some experts estimate there are more than two million new books published every year. That’s a lot of books for a reader to wade through to find yours. Luckily, KDP anticipated the need and has developed a Series Page for authors to use to link books in a series. What’s more, it’s automatic. You don’t even have to set it up yourself.

Jess Redman Interview!

I was able to get an ARC of Quintessence through NetGalley a month or so ago. I read this book and it is one of my new favorite books! I reviewed it a couple weeks ago here. Are you more of an outliner, discovery writer, or in between the two? I’m an in-betweener. I used to be more of a discovery writer, but now that I’m often writing on a deadline, I can’t be quite as footloose and fancy free. Usually, I think for a long time before I write anything. I just turn over ideas and grow the plot and get to know characters in my head. Then I do some experimental writing to search for the tone of the story, which is very important to me. I usually write third-person, but each story has its own voice and feel. After that, I’m ready to outline. I leave lots of room for the characters and plot to breathe, and I’m not afraid to change the trajectory of the story. My outline helps me see where I’m heading, but I like to blaze the trails as I go. How long ago did you start writing seriously to get published?

What’s New?

I missed my Friday post deadline because I went on vacation. My family and I drove down to see family that just moved to North Padre Island. It was a strange vacation with masks and distance. The kids did great wearing their masks everywhere. The family we went to see is family we’ve already been in contact with several times since my step dad passed away in May. My niece and brother in law taught us how to surf and boogie board. The kids loved the boogie boarding more than the surfing. My sister is more of the surfer. I just enjoyed the sun and the company. We also learned what a Blue flag at the beach means: Marine life. In our case…Jellyfish! I got stung 3 times. My sister and her kids got stung too. They don’t feel very good. May I recommend if there is ever a blue flag at the beach, go another day!

The Book of Dragons Book Review & 5 Qualities of a Good Short Story?

I saw this anthology on Netgalley and hello…dragons…so I was all in! The release date on this book is July 7th 2020. As I read this book, I thought a lot about what I like and don’t like about short stories. This book contained a few that I didn’t care for and several that I loved. All were well written of course, but some stood out above the others. So I analyzed them and came up with 5 things I believe make a good short story. I’m sure these are not all the qualities of a good story though. You might like short stories for another reason. If so, let me know!

6 Ways You Can Begin a Story

How do you begin a story? Not in the sense of create, but where do you start? I was always told to start in Media Res. Latin for in the middle of things. There are countless ways to start a story. I'm going to talk about a few ways to start, but this is by all means not exhaustive. When I'm wanting to strengthen a skill, I look to mentor texts. So let us take a look at some excellent stories and see how they begin.

Quintessence Book Review

I have however read several REALLY amazing books lately! Quintessence is one of them! I gave it a 5 star review on Good reads, which I rarely do. Alma moved 3 months ago and has had trouble adjusting. She's been having anxiety attacks and doesn't really feel like herself. She finds a telescope and through it sees a star fall. This is not a normal star though; it looks like a girl. Alma joins an astronomy club to learn more about this. She and her new friends begin a journey of self discovery and healing like none I've ever read.

25 Books to Read by Authors of Color

“Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another and feeling with the heart of another.” – Alfred Adler This is a good time for reflection. I've done a lot of that lately. I have taught ESL (English as a Second Language) for the last 18 years. Yet, I am … Continue reading 25 Books to Read by Authors of Color

90 Days to Your Novel Book Review

I saw that an Instagram friend of mine was doing a 90 Days to Your Novel challenge thing, based on this book. I was intrigued. I mean, who wouldn't want to write a whole novel in 90 days? Can you really do that? Would it be any good? I know there are indie authors out there that crank out 4-5 novels a year. Something I've learned in the last year is that consistency and frequency really help when it comes to growing a following. For example, I started this blog in August 2016. Then, I decided to start grad school to become a librarian. So, from June 2017-Aug 2019 while I was in school and working full time as a teacher, I posted infrequently. Since August, I have (for the most part) posted every Friday. The number of followers since then has nearly doubled and views on the website are way up. I expect by the end of 2020 the views will more than double from last year. BUT that is not nearly important to me as quality content. I try to be consistent. But sometimes I've got stuff going on in my life (my MIL and my Stepdad passed away in the last 9 months) that prevent me from writing quality content for you, so I skip a week or two. Maybe that hurts the SEO, but I refuse to put junk out there attached to my name.