New Books on the Block

By Carole Brown

One of the best moments in an author’s life is when a book of theirs releases. And probably one of the top pleasures it gives those who love to encourage, is to share the reward of a new book out from a fellow-author-friend. 

Today I want to share with you some new books that recently released and hope you’re intrigued enough to check them out! Here goes…



Coloring Journal. Author: Sharon A. Lavy.

Why should you buy this book?

  • Throughout history, successful people have kept journals.
  • Writing letters and keeping a diary is an ancient tradition that dates back to 10th century Japan.coloring-journal3


  • We now know that journaling has a positive impact on our physical and mental well-being, and modern psychologists contend that regular journaling strengthens the immune cells.
  • Many artistic types swear that three pages a day of free writing by hand boost their creativity.




  • Couple that with the accepted benefits of coloring for calming stress relief and we recognize the usefulness of providing a combination coloring journal.
  • As you fill the following pages with your thoughts and your unique style of expression, please dwell on the goodness of the creator and His great love for us.

Remember, Sharon has a many Adult Coloring Books for your pleasure and relaxation. Do check them out here: 

Sharon A. Lavy’s Amazon Books


* * *


Designing a Business Plan for Your Writing (Writing to Publish Book 1)

Why should you buy this book? 

  • Do you see yourself as a writer?
  • Is your dream to publish?

Designing a Business Plan for Your Writing helps you create a map you can follow to make your dream come true. The examples, reflective assignments, and challenges walk each reader through the process of constructing a thoughtful and achievable plan. While the handbook offers examples of structure, it is in no way formulaic. The plan you design to be a published author is customized to fit your personality traits, your specific gifts, and your busy life.

Check it out HERE:

Rebecca W. Water’s Amazon Book

THERE you have it! Some books to catch your attention this month! Enjoy.

Lack of Proofreading (Hilarious) Fiascos

By Carole Brown

Hilarious Titles: Doesn’t Anyone Proofread anymore? We all read hilarious topics that make the wrong kind of sense. And it is hard to catch everything–especially on deadlines! But these “take the cake” on hilarity. Enjoy, and remember some writer, somewhere made these mistakes, and take a lesson. Proofread. Then again. Smile.

Man Kills Self Before Shooting Wife and Daughter 
(Wow; he’s miraculous!)

Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says 
(Da,do you really think so?)

Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers 
(Now that’s taking things a bit far!) 

Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over 
(Uh, what was that?) 

miner-2 free

Miners Refuse to Work after Death 
(No-good-for-nothing, lazy men!) 

Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant 
(See if that works any better than a fair trial!) 

War Dims Hope for Peace 
(I can see where it might have that effect!) 

If Strike Isn’t Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile 
(Ya think?)
Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures 
(Who would have thought!) 

Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide 
(They may be on to something!) 

Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges 
(You mean there’s something stronger than duct tape?) 

lightening-2 free
Man Struck By Lightning: Faces Battery Charge 
(He probably IS the battery charge!) 
New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group 
(Weren’t they fat enough?) 

Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft 
(That’s what he gets for eating those beans!) 

Kids Make Nutritious Snacks 
(Do they taste like chicken?) 

Local High School; Dropouts Cut in Half 
(Chainsaw Massacre all over again!) 
Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors 
(Boy, are those are some tall doctors!)

I’m Not a Brain Surgeon!

The beautiful parsurgery2 freet of writing is that you don’t have to get it right the first time–unlike, say, a brain surgeon! –Robert Cormier


That’s what editing is all about. Here’s how my writing process goes:

  • Come up with an idea, plot, write. I try to get the story down without worrying too much about editing the first time around. I can’t do that totally–I’m always editing, making little corrections: maybe the wrong word was placed in a sentence, or I spelled a word edit freeincorrectly, or I used “????” meaning the thought needed some research or verifying. I might make some editing in the story line.

Once I finally have the first draft completed, I like to give it a few days rest. It gives my brain a chance to refresh from the story. I might work on another one or do some marketing or even an altogether different project. But eventually . . .

  • It’s time to begin some serious editing. I read through the story, making notes as I go. Correct this sentence. Rearrange this scene. Change the wording, etc. I normally end up with multiple pages or corrections, and that’s a good thing. It means I’ve found the majority of the issues that need addressed.

While I’m waiting on my editor to go over my corrections and to make the adjustments needed, I, again, take a few days to relax and breathe fresh air. By the time the pdf reaches me for a second round of editing, I’m ready to go.

  • The third edit is less intense, but just as important. By now, I’ve caught the major mistakes in my novel. I can concentrate on the depth of the story line, look for any flaws in the main plot and also the subplot threads. I can beef up any weak scenes and tighten all the places that might lag in interest for the reader.

Depending on the story, the editor, and the time available, edits can be from three to twenty rounds. Of course, twenty is pushing it a little, but it can happen, especially with a super picky or super good editor. And hopefully, most, if not all, the mistakes have been found and corrected. That’s the nemesis that dogs most authors’ heels–the thought that we might have missed some flaws not caught.

But, unlike the brain surgeon, who must usually get it right that first time, an author does have the leeway of “edits.” But then that’s part of being an author.

Write, edit, market.elsa free

Pretty much sums it all up.


Those Pesky Ly Words

Adverbs are words that normally end in an ly and should usually be avoided when possible. I used two ly words in the last sentence; nobody can avoid them all. Many new writers delete all of their ly words but don’t use a stronger verb in its place. The reason to delete ly words is because stronger verbs can replace them. Here’s a list of a few strong verbs you can use to replace your weaker verbs and adverbs.


slowly walked – sauntered, strolled, loped, moseyed, wandered, meandered

quickly walked – strode, darted, rushed, treaded, marched, advanced


angrily looked – glowered, glared

longingly looked – gaped, ogled, stared

quickly looked – glanced


loudly talked – shouted, bellowed

softly talked – whispered, mumbled


sat slowly – perched, rested, settled

sat quickly or angrily or clumsily – plopped, plodded

Whenever you see an ly word, look up the verb it describes in the thesaurus, and see if you can find a stronger verb to convey the same thing without the adverb.

10 Tips to Editing Your Own Novel

Tip #1: You’ve finished the first draft of your novel. Congratulations. Take some time off and celebrate. No, really, I mean it. Set your novel in a drawer for at least six weeks. Do something else in the meantime. If you want, start another novel, go on vacation, read a book, visit friends, or spring clean the house. But resist the temptation to pick up that draft. This is the first and most important step to self-editing. You need to look at your work with a fresh eye.

The six weeks are over. It’s time to pull out that manuscript and get busy. Now what? Here’s some things that will help.

Tip #2: Read or review a self-editing book to remind yourself what problems you are looking for. My favorite is “Self-Editing For Fiction Writers” by Browne and King. Even if you’ve read this book before, you’ll need the reminders fresh in your mind.

Tip #3: Use find and replace to search out ly words and other problem words, and replace them when you can. See this link  for the problem words and this link  for how to get rid of ly words.

Tip #4: Print out a hard copy of your manuscript. Read it over using a red ink pen to make notes in the margins. It’s amazing what you’ll find when you read a hard copy.

Tip #5: After reading the hard copy, go back and make your changes.

Tip #6: Print the manuscript out again, find the red ink pen. This time, read your manuscript out loud using your red ink pen to mark changes that need to be made.

Tip #7: Now go back and make the changes again.

Tip #8: You guessed it. Print the manuscript out a third time. No, I’m not trying to kill trees. This is a very important part of the process. You need that hard copy in front of you when you’re editing.

Tip #9: Make the changes, and read through it two more times. You don’t have to print it out this time. But you might want to try reading it backwards so you can find common grammar, punctuation, and spelling mistakes.

Tip #10: Have a small group of people to read over your finished product. You will need at least one grammar expert in this group. The other members can be a couple of people who love to read and a writer or two who will give you a hard critique. See this link for how to have a critique help your writing. Make any needed changes you agree with.

Now you’re done. Give yourself a pat on the back. Then get busy and write a query and proposal, and research those literary agents and publishers.

A writer’s work is never done.

How to Format Your Novel or Manuscript


Industry standards on formatting a manuscript change from time to time, and not all publishers agree on formatting. But this is what most publishers consider standard today.

Font: Times New Roman or another standard font in 12 point size.

Page Setup: One inch margins on top, bottom, and both sides.

Line Spacing: Double Spaced

First Page: Centered on Page

First Line: Title in all caps

Second Line:  A Novel by

Third Line:  Author’s Name

Forth Line:  If you have an agent, Agented by

Left Side Header: Name, Address, Phone Number, E-mail Address

Right Side Header: Word Count

Header for Other Pages:  On right side – Last Name/Name of Manuscript/Page Number

Chapter Headings:  Start each new chapter on a new page about 1/3 of the way down the page. Chapter Title should be centered and in all caps. Then double space twice before starting the first paragraph of the chapter.

Paragraphs:  Each new paragraph should be indented 5 spaces.

Scene Changes:  To signify a scene change, type ### or *** centered on the next line. Then start a new paragraph.

Italics: Standards have change concerning italics. They used to have you underline. Now you should place italics in italics.

Spaces between Sentences:  Only use one space, not two, between sentences.

Date or Setting Line at the Beginning of a Scene: If you need to have the date, day, or place at the beginning of a scene, place it in italics and don’t indent. Then start another line for the first paragraph of the scene.

Letters: If you have a letter in the body of your manuscript, indent the letter 10 spaces on each side.

Microsoft Word: If you use Microsoft Word, click here to read more about how to use templates for your manuscript.

Increasing The Word Count In A Manuscript

Although some writers have problems writing too many words for their novel, other writers find when they finish their first draft, they have too few words. Here’s some ways too increase your word count without making your story boring.

Flesh out any areas where you’re telling about a scene and not showing it. Every writer can find at least a few places where they’re doing that.

Develop layers of subplots. Subplots will make your novel more interesting. One word of caution – make sure your subplots connect in some way with the main story. You don’t want a bunch of bunny trails.

Develop minor characters. Spend some time turning your one dimensional characters into interesting people. Here’s a link to help you create interesting characters.

Don’t allow talking heads. Talking heads are stories where two characters are talking to each other on an empty stage. There’s no description of where they are or what they’re doing. If you find this in your story, give your characters bodies and a place to stand while they’re delivering their dialogue.

Add description. Too much description can slow down a story, but adding descriptions, especially descriptions that affect the characters in some way, will make your story richer.

Add interior monologue. Get inside your point of view character’s head from time to time. Let the reader know what she’s thinking.

Blow something up. There’s nothing like blowing up a character’s plans and goals to increase the word count of a story and to make it more exciting. Here’s a link that tells more about this.