writing help

Digital vs Paper Outlining

Greetings My Lovelies!

 

I hope that everyone is doing well on this fine Wednesday.  For my people on the east coast watching the hurricane roll in, I hope you got all your provisions and let’s keep our fingers cross that we don’t loose power too long…

On a different note…I was supposed to have a book signing event this past Saturday but something fell through and I had to cancel.  I’m not gonna lie, I cried.  But I pulled up my big girl panties and went on with life.  I’m hoping to get it rescheduled soon.  It was my first event and I was really looking forward to it.  Sigh…oh well let’s in on to the matter at hand.

Outlining is something that you either do or don’t.  Some writers get their ideas and just see where they go organically while others (like myself) outline our works.  I outline because if I don’t I either run off onto weird tangents that have nothing to do with the story or I don’t put enough details into it.  And if you’re like me then I highly recommend outlining.  Now I know that this seems like a simple concept…and it is but it’s not either.

When I realized that I needed to outline, I did everything on paper.  But I ended up with piles and piles of paper, post-it notes, and scribbles in my writing journal.  My thoughts were scattered every where, so I searched for paperless options and came across Notebook.ai and I thought that all my problems were solved…not quite.  I ended up spending a hellish amount of time on little things, but I still like the site.

So here are the pros and cons of using paper and digital forms of outlining.

Paper pros

You can work anywhere as long as you have something to write on and with.  Also your ideas are locked into where you initially thought they would fit.

Paper cons

Lots of little pieces of paper to organize.  You can also loose them.  Plus once you’ve finished your story, it’s a lot of recycling.

Digital pros

Everything is in one place and you can access it anywhere and everywhere.  It’s a lot easier to make changes and you don’t really have to worry about loosing your ideas.

Digital cons

If you’re like me, you’ll end up getting sucked into a new toy.  If it’s not something you’re used to working with you’ll end up forgetting about it and not utilizing it thus making all that work that you put in a waste.

 

In the end it all boils down to preference.  I like having paper.  It helps me to remember but I do the vast amount online.  I use notebook.ai for world building but avoid the character fields bc I will get stuck there.  For my paper options, I have this cork board that I pin picture inspirations, notes, and whatever else on.  The blended option works for me, and you just need to find what works for you.

So what do you guys use for your outlining?  Do you even need to outline?  Comment below I would love to hear from you!

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See ya next time!

 

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Greetings My Peeps!, writing help

Fiverr a Hidden Gem!

Greetings My Lovelies!

 

Boy oh boy what a week.  I have survived my first week at school back with my students.  I have to say that it went pretty well.  But that makes me afraid for this week.  Positive thoughts though. 

Any who, let me tell you about this nifty little sight that I came across thanks to one of my favorite Youtubers, Safiya Nygaard.  She does a lot of weird posts and I love her.  Well one thing that she tried was Fiverr and that got me wondering if it could be used for writers.  I have not been paid to talk about this site.  This is just for fun/my opinion.

Now if you’re not familiar with Fiverr its a website where freelancers can post their resume.  Think of it like the personals in a newspaper.  Most of the jobs cost….that’s right 5 bucks, but there are more expensive ones too.  Those tend to belong to the professionals.  There’s a wide range of freelancers to choose from.  All you have to do is enter what you’re searching for and then have at it.  So far I’ve used Fiverr for editing and book cover designs.

The editors I’ve used are super friendly and they won’t break the bank.  Now I can hear a few of you already. “But if they’re cheap, they’re bad.”  Maybe but any editor worth their salt should be willing to talk to you about the changes they made.  If they don’t then you have a bad editor, no matter the cost.  Editors are there to help you and to help make sure that your book is the best that it can be.  I’ve seen big publisher books with mistakes.  No one’s perfect, but if you’re just starting out, you gotta do the best that you can with the funds that you have and a cheap editor is better than no editor at all.  Now some editors aren’t familiar with novel writing and rule bending that comes with that. But once you explain your thought process they will either agree with you or help explain it better.  I’ll use them again for future novels.  It  cost me about $300 for a custom job.  All in all it never hurts to ask.

I used to make all my book covers to help cut costs.  It’s not a bad option but what I wanted exceeded my skill level, time to learn, and patience to apply.  So for 30 bucks I got a new cover for a previous book (you know to test the waters).  Let’s say that I will be using this person again.  The thing that many cover designers do is have you pick the images that you like and then they blend it into your cover. Some have unlimited revisions while others only allow for three.  So please make sure that you look at everything before you hand over cash.

But overall, for the services that I’ve used, I can say that I’m satisfied with what I got.  The next service I want to check out would be book interiors.  I’ll be sure to let y’all know when and if I do.

Question Time:

Have you used Fiverr before?  For what?

Where did you find your editor/book cover designer?

Comment below, I’d love to hear from you!

 

See ya next time!

Want other content?  Want to get to know me on a personal level?  Follow me on my other sites by clicking the links below:

Twitter       Instagram   Pinterest   

 

Want to help me continue putting out content be it book reviews, writing help, or epic stories, click the link below and become a patron today!

Patreon Page

 

 

Greetings My Peeps!, writing help

How to Write a Series Without Losing Your Mind

Greetings my lovelies!

 

Every now and again there comes an idea so epic, a world so badass that it can’t possibly be contained in a single book.  But just the thought of trying to tackle the daunting task of writing a series.  Writing a series takes a whole different level of dedication and discipline that can induce new levels of anxiety.  But don’t let that keep you from fully developing that idea that gripped you to being with.  I have a couple of tips to help you tackle writing a series without losing your mind.

 

Realistically look at your story as a whole.

Does your story actually need to be split up into multiple books.  Sometimes the random idea we get that fit within our story are actually smaller parts than we initially realize.  In the second book in my series Souls in the Dark, the two main conflicts are a blend of what I originally thought were going to be two separate books.  When I sat down to flesh out my ideas a little more, I realized that they weren’t enough to carry a whole book.  Do the same for your ideas.  It’s great that you have multiple conflicts, that makes for an engaging story, but not every conflict or meeting needs it own book.

 

Time

Figuring out the timing in your story can help keep track of how many books you need to effectively tell the story.  Is it year by year like in Harry Potter?  It it task by task like in the Hunger Games?  Or it it journey where each point in the story needs to be told like Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones?  Framing the time can help with the planning stages and gives you an end point for each book.  Also don’t forget about the natural flow of time.  If your story goes on for more than a few months, then the seasons will change.  For the most part, things still have to follow a natural flow.

 

Keep track of important details

I have this wall … well not right now because I just moved…but I have this wall where I stick up all the major points that I have to keep in mind for the larger scope of my story.  This can be but not limited to maps, important items like magical tools, people who show up in one book but have a major role later on.  Having these things somewhere in the fore front will help you to not forget them and keep your sanity.

 

 

 

Create a rough outline of your series in its entirety

Some writers never outline their stories.  They just sit down and get going.  I am not one of these people.  If I don’t have an outline, I will go off into god knows where and end up having to completely start over.  I live by my outlines.  That doesn’t always mean that I follow them 100%.  Sometimes while writing something will develop naturally and I usually let it.  There are a thousand ways to outline your story.  I use a combination of traditional outlining and free writing synopsis.  The free writing synopsis is just me sitting in front of my computer writing the barest bones of my story.  I don’t care about dialog, grammar, spelling; nothing.  I just get the story out.  I refer back to the synopsis when I’m ready for the outlining phase of my writing to make sure that what I’m filling in doesn’t conflict with the larger scope of the story.  You could also use a story board instead.  A story board can be done anyway that you want it.  It doesn’t even have to make sense to anyone but you.  As long as it helps you to keep your thoughts organized, it works.

 

Don’t rush

There’s always this panic to pump out as many books as you possible can.  We see our favorite authors do this and try to emulate them.  I don’t recommend it.  For the most part, all they do is write.  They have the time to plan out their books and develop their story and characters and unless you’re like them….then it’s going to murder you.  Take your time.  Plan out each book.  Make sure it’s the best book you’re putting out there.  George R.R. Martin has us still waiting 7 yrs later for Winds of Winter.  And we will keep waiting because we know how in depth he goes into his world.  Take the time that you need to make a good story.  The rest will fall into place.

 

These are only just a few ideas on how to not lose your mind when writing a series.  There are tons of other articles out there all pretty much saying the same things.  Take your time.  Plan it all out.  Keep track of details.  Good luck!

If you’ve written a series before and have any other helpful hints on how to not turn into a Gollum then please comment below.  See y’all next time!

 

 

 

Greetings My Peeps!

Out of Balance

I have finished my first year of teaching and boy did the rest of my life suffer for it.  Almost everything got pushed to the side while I tried to keep my head over water.  I had no energy to do anything, and I mean anything.  Most nights I came home and instantly went to sleep.  Now bear in mind I got back home at 3:30.  That’s crazy.  I stopped working out.  I stopped reading.  I stopped painting and I especially stopped doing anything writing related.

I felt terrible.

But now it’s summer so I have the time to catch up on the huge pile I have on the back burner.  This blog being one of them.

My third book is due to come out at the end of next month but I’ve done almost no marketing for it.  I have no idea what I’m going to do.

I need a drink and start getting my life back on track.

Until next time my peoples!

Greetings My Peeps!

I love my new job!!!!

This year, I was able to obtain a new teaching position at the school where I already worked at as a teacher assistant.  Nearing the end of the first 9 wks, I finally feel comfortable.  The first three weeks felt like pure hell and I didn’t feel like a teacher at all.  But now, I’ve found my groove and things have started to settle down.  With that being said, many of my projects, including my novel have had to take a seat on the back burner because I needed to focus completely on figuring out just how in the world was I going to work this teaching gig.  But I think I have it mostly figured out so it’s time to get back at it.

I wish I could share the pictures of my kids with you guys, they are something else.  But I have to respect their privacy.  However, they are the cutest little demons I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.  ha ha

Until next time ppl!

Greetings My Peeps!

Take a Break

A last week, I finished the finally bits of writing for my latest novel Time of Prophecy.  Since completion, I’ve had to set up my classroom, prepare for open house, and been in one beginning of the year meeting after another.  With everything being as crazy as it is, my novel as sat gathering dust.  At first I was buried under crippling guilt until I realized that I finished writing ahead of schedule.  I can take a week off to get my life back in order and still be able to meet my dead lines.

*exhales*

But come September 4th, I have to carve out some time to do my final edit so I can send the manuscript off to the editor on time.  Wish me luck!