Welcome Ruth

by Carole BrownChristmas ebook cover

It’s wonderful to have Ruth here today sharing about her new devotional book and a bit about her life. Do check it out and leave a comment too! 

Enjoy the interview!

Welcome, Ruth! How long have you been writing?

I have been writing since I was nine years old. My first story, “The Hunchback Bug,” is now a writing tool for my students. Your first story doesn’t have to be good, but if you keep working at it, your writing will improve.

Wise advice. What made you want to write this Christmas devotional?

I had already written a lot of stories for children as well as a lot of devotions over the years. It seemed logical to combine them to create something unique for whole families to use during the Christmas season. I mentioned it to my friends and it became a project we worked on together.

What a fantastic project. Since this is a Christmas devotional, can you share a favorite Christmas memory?

Oh, goodness, there so many! I remember getting up super early with my siblings when I was a child. My parents would allow us to open our stockings, which was probably an effort to let them sleep a little longer, although I’m not sure how quiet we were.

Then there was the tree my husband cut down with our children one year. I’m not very good at spatial things and that tree looked a lot smaller outside. My husband had to cut a couple of feet off the bottom to fit it in the house, and the tree was so big around, it took up half of our living room. That was my favorite tree ever!

Fun!! I remember a couple times of “oversized, underbranched” beauties in our living room too! Lol. What made you want to be a writer?

That must’ve been God. I never struggled as a teenager with what I wanted to be when I grew up. I always knew I would write.

Me, too! Seems I’ve always loved writing. What are some of your other favorite things to do?

I enjoy quilting – that’s my thinking time. If I’m stuck on a writing project, I can go sew for a little while and then all of a sudden ideas start to come. I also enjoy being outdoors. As a family we enjoy hiking and camping.

Sisters blog (2)

In this picture of you, as a child, which one are you?

I’m the one on the right, the oldest. 

 

Family time is the best, and I do that too to energize my writing muse again. There’s a song for each day of the devotional. Do you have a favorite Christmas song?

There are so many beautiful ones. I’m not sure I have A favorite. I enjoy “Home for Christmas,” “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” (the Steven Curtis Chapman version), “O Holy Night.” I could go on, but I won’t. Christmas songs just make me happy and help me focus on the reason for the celebration.

Where can we find you?

Blog – http://ruths-real-life.blogspot.com/

Website – http://ruthoneil.weebly.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/RuthONeilAuthor

Twitter – https://twitter.com/writerrutho

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Ruth-ONeil/e/B00AJ5S3YQ

Buy link for the book – https://www.amazon.com/Days-Christmas-Family-Devotional-Meaningful-ebook/dp/B01N1LTH26

Thank you for joining us today, Ruth!

Readers, don’t forget to check out Ruth’s links and her book!

 

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Your Novel’s Details

by Carole Brown

elephant forget free

Have you ever read a book that has the details wrong? And I’m not just talking about historical details, but mundane details that you didn’t catch when writing–even editing–your manuscript. Examples:

  • You wrote that an event happened on Wednesday, but a couple chapters later, on that same Wednesday, you wrote a totally, and unusable, event happening at the same time?
  • Or what about forgetting to finish a subplot detail by not following through with a satisfactory solution?
  • Did you ever change a name and find out you missed a time or two where he/she’s referred to as the previous name? Ouch!
  • Or start out with the main character’s eyes blue and finish up with a green-eyed protagonist?

 

If you’ve ever read about this happening and don’t want it to happen to you, or you know you’ve missed a few things in your manuscript, then may I suggest a couple ideas:

 1. Choose a paid-for program that works for you. There are different ones that are available that can give you guidance and steer you in the direction needed to keep all your manuscripts details clear and in order.  Depending on the money you want to invest, it can go from inexpensive to very expensive.

To those who like having it all set up for you in advance and have the money to spend, this is the way to go. There are all kinds of apps out there with varying prices. Google or ask other writers to find out what would work best for you.

programs free

Note:

I’ve heard good things about Evernote (basic is free; premium costs a decent price). Use it to keep track of your characters by using tags and keywords: eye and hair colors, photos of possible character look-alikes, clothes, styles, etc., and articles of research that you want to keep and refer to later in your work.

Scrivener: a writing software where you write without worrying about formatting. You also have the ability to use tags and keywords, clip websites, store photos and other research material. It can outline with text or a simulated cork board with index cards. You also have the added benefit of it tracking your daily quota of writing.

 

2.  Create your own “program” where you keep a detailed list of what’s happening, when, where and who.  This is the one I want to focus on today.

checklist free

 

 

 

First:  you’ll need to decide what you’ll use for your Details List: post it notes, whiteboard, index cards, spreadsheet, physical notebook, etc. Use these to help you:

  • Keep track of all characters, including minor characters who may appear only as a mention or very little in your book. List their names, ages, looks, habits, character traits, quirks, relationships (past and present) and anything else you might want to attribute to them and that helps you understand them better. You may not use everything, but it’s valuable for you to determine why and how your character acts the way he/she does.

Example: It’s easier than some realize to forget a minor character’s name, what color of eyes you first used, etc. I changed a minor character’s name in one book and couldn’t remember what it was. Another time, I changed a pretty important character from one position to another, from one name to another, then back again. Details like this are so much easier to remember when you have your handy, detailed lists.

 

character2 free

 

  • Keep track of what happens in each chapter. Some events or thoughts or actions may need follow up in later chapters. This helps you to not miss anything that needs to be visited again.

Example: this saves tons of time when you need to double check something to make sure what you previously wrote vibes with what you’re ready to write (rather than having to scroll through pages trying to find that particular scene).

book chapter free

 

 

  • Keep track of all major scenes in your book. This is a more specific listing that keeps you right in line to where you’re headed. You can follow the scenes and know whether you’ve left out any vital action, thought or words that would help clarify it or make it even more realistic.

Example: Recently, I wrote a scene of which I had that vague sense it wasn’t quite what I wanted. But in the push to finish the book, I went on writing. When the first draft was finished, I realized details weren’t as they should be in that one scene. I went back through and rewrote it twice before I came close to being satisfied with it.

Praise on the Bible

 

  • Keep track of timeline. Obviously, this is a biggie. Writers have to keep track of the time events happen, whether it’s minor or major. Readers are sharp. They can pick up a major error like this easily if they’re detail-oriented. It’s an author’s obligation to make sure their story’s timeline is “time-right.”

Example: Is it on Sunday morning before church or after an evening meal when the bad guy is taken to jail? Sometimes, especially when you switch viewpoints, you can overlap actions and times from various characters, but when it comes to certain actions or the same character, you have to consider that he just might not be able to scale Mount Everest the same time he’s eating luncheon with his girlfriend. Keep it straight with your list!

timeline free

 

  • Keep track of your plot.  Make sure you’re headed in the right direction. There will be changes and sidelines that create an even better story, but you want to remember that by keeping track of your plot, it will help keep you in line for a satisfactory ending. Every line, every scene, every chapter should lead to the ending of your plot.

Example:  In a couple of my books, I realized, the closer I got to the end, that the bad guy wasn’t the one I’d planned for when I first commenced writing the book. Because I kept track of my plot–which didn’t change–changing the character worked fine.

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There are many other things that can be added to your lists, but the main thing is, keep track, however you decide to do it. I like simple and easy, so going my own way (preparing my own lists–usually with physical notebooks or cards) works for me.

However you decide to go, I think you’ll find this a great idea. Many times writers want to write and not be bothered or “distracted” with lists and such. But I encourage you to give it a try. I had the same mentality once I seriously began writing novels. It didn’t take long for me to realize I needed help…and lists was the way to go.

Questions? Ask. If I know the answer, I’ll be glad to respond. If I don’t I’ll try to find the answer. Best to you as you work on your manuscript!

Ideas for Marketing 3

by Carole Brown

Quote

                        “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”                                   –Henry Ford

           confused man free            

Henry Ford said it right. Attitude is a large part of a writer’s problem or ability to do the marketing. In today’s world, it’s vital. Besides knowing what a writer should write, a writer must discover for whom they’re writing: widespread or a set group of people or even for themselves. That decides how they should market which leads to where they should market. And sometimes when.

What, Who, How, Where, and When (More on these another time). Keep them all in mind and your writing journey will be that much easier. 

Here’s this month’s marketing tips for your perusal

  • Join some Facebook groups that specifically pertain to what you’re writing. Historical: you’ll find many. Thriller? Poetry? Again, do your research, and, I think you’ll not find a lack of like-minded poets. Just be diligent. Remember, if you write inspirational, use discretion. Some of the groups may not be christian, so decide if you can use them without bothering your conscience. I’ve gotten a few reactions/readers from posting on these sites.
  • Ask David. A Twitter-user-marketing site. This is a very valuable asset to my own marketing. It seems to keep my stand alone, The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, higher in the Amazon ranks at times, so check it out. It’s reasonable, cost-wise.
  • Facebook Parties. I know some of them may get annoying or even boring. But if you do decide to use them, then join in with enthusiasm and creatively. Don’t just post information about your book and links, but have fun and brief contests and short information tidbits that catch interest. People love to read interesting facts about you and your work. Just have fun and friendly, and you may gain a new reader or two! 
  • Offer freebies when other writers ask. Yes, sometimes these will gain you readers when you offer your book as a gift. This can be an author’s private launch of a new book where he/she gives gifts of others books. Or a writing conference that requests books for welcoming bags or even bigger conferences where you can create baskets for auctions. DO take advantage of some of these by creating a beautiful and appealing basket that readers are begging and hoping to receive! 

Remember, if some of these seem a lot of work for little gain: nothing is to be despised. We can’t all be NYTimes best sellers, but we can all take control of our writing marketing. Gaining one or two readers (plus more!) here and there is not to be overlooked. Most everything is valuable in its own time and way. Smile.

Blessed Marketing to you!

 

A New Mystery Book from Karen Robbins

by Carole Brown

Karen has some fun mystery books, and here’s her newest! 

The second book in her Annie Pickels Story

Pickle Dilly

IMG_4901 (800x600)

Links to purchase books:

In A Pickle:  https://www.amazon.com/Pickle-Annie-Pickels-Story-Pickes/dp/1974391868/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Pickle Dilly:  https://www.amazon.com/Pickle-Dilly-Annie-Pickels-Story/dp/1974397092/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

KAREN_2

 

KAREN ROBBINS is a writer, author, and speaker. She and her husband are travel addicts and many of her stories are enriched by their adventures in different parts of the world. She has written six novels, collaborated on two non-fiction books and contributed often to Chicken Soup For The Soul books. She is currently working on a Christmas novella, A Pocketful Of Christmas. While the world is fun to explore, Karen most likes to spend time with her grandchildren. They offer the greatest adventures of all.

 

Catch up with Karen at her blog, Wandering Writer (www.karenrobbins.com), Twitter (https://twitter.com/writerwandering), Facebook (www.facebook.com/KarenRobbinsAuthor) or Amazon (www.amazon.com/author/karenrobbins)

Recommended!

Happy Reading

 

You’re Saying it All Wrong!

by Carole Brownmonkey-474147__340

I ran across this list the other day and checked it out to see if I was guilty of any. What do you think? Are you guilty?

Have fun reading it!

  1. Nip it in the butt or Nip it in the bud?
  2. I could care less or I couldn’t care less?
  3. One in the same or One and the same?
  4. You’ve got another thing coming or You’ve got another think coming?
  5. Each one worse than the next or Each one worse than the last?
  6. On accident or By accident?
  7. Statue of limitations or Statute of limitations?
  8. For all intensive purposes or For all intents and purposes?
  9. He did good or He did well.
  10. Extract revenge or Exact revenge?
  11. Old timer’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease?
  12. I’m giving you lead way or I’m giving you leeway?
  13. Aks or Ask?
  14. What’s you guyses opinion or What’s your opinion, guys?
  15. Expresso or Espresso?
  16. Momento or Memento?
  17. Irregardless or Regardless?
  18. Sorta or Sort or?
  19. Conversating or Conversing?
  20. Scotch free and Scott free or Scot free?
  21. I made a complete 360 degree change in my life or I made a complete 180 degree change in my life?
  22. Curl up in the feeble position or Curl up in the fetal position?
  23. Phase or Faze?
  24. Hone in or Home in?
  25. emoji whatever freeBrother in laws or Brothers in law?

 

There you have it. Now, ‘fess up! Are you guilty of any of these?

 

Ideas for Marketing 2

by Carole Brown

Today, I’d like to share a fewdiscouraged2 free places, some of which might seem obvious, but are well worth looking into. Don’t overlook avenues you think aren’t worth your time. You might be surprised! 

Quote:

 “You can’t expect to just write and have visitors come to you – that’s too passive.”            –Anita Campbell

 

  • Pinterest:  They say the eyes are a good way to catch attention of others. One way to use pinterest is to create boards for your books such as memes. Be creative: add your pet to one meme with your book in the picture and a cute saying. What is the setting of your book? Add a board with probable images of places that “could be” the locale of your book. Character pictures, including minor characters, are “wow” items for a board. What about hair styles? Do make sure they all include your book’s title/cover.  (CAUTION: you can become addicted to this site! Lol)
  • Twitter:  I love this marketing avenue! Short, to the point (and you learn how to promote in brief 🙂 ) and they also offer promotional options. To gain attention, add a pic too. It’s a fantastic way to market. Remember, you can also use Hootsuite, or similar, to schedule tweets ahead of time which is especially useful during sales, etc. 
  • Interviews:  If you’re in any writer groups, you’ll usually find people who are offering invitations for author to do interviews/posts/promotion spots on their sites. Take advantage of these! You’ll not only gain marketable visibility but gain readers too. Even one or two good, faithful readers if well worth your time and effort.

Take action–today!

Successful Writing Efforts wished for you! 

God’s Wonderful World, Scenes and Imagination

by Carole Brown

And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. –the Bible

As an author, I marvel at the sights of this beautiful planet. My imagination soars with the heights and floats with the breeze and waves. I imagine my established characters, and sometimes new ones, in these scenes.

Pictures and scenes are one of the greatest ways to foster ideas. I take LOTS of pictures in our travels. Some of them have made it into videos of my books. Others serve to keep my mind agile and brisk with ideas. 

Tell me, what kind of story ideas do these pictures give you?

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Do you see a young couple hiking in the northwest? What troubles do they stumble into? A dead body? A raging fire? Kidnapping? Finding themselves with new purpose? Do you imagine a family camping here and encountering wild creatures? Fishing? Hunting? Or can you see something entirely different?

For this one: I imagine one that I’ve begun and have yet to finish: 

Set in Mexico, in a missionary setting, a young girl meets two very different impressive men, but which one is the right one–for her? Then, she must also figure out which one is the drug lord… Can she do both–and survive?

 

20170808_170718

What do you imagine here happening?

An Amish story? an 1800s novel? A wagon train passing through? Or perhaps a country farm setting with a wife who dabbles in mystery problems in the nearby town?

To me, I can see another story,  I’ve begun and hope to finish soon, set during the late 1800s, Destiny and Michael riding their horses through one of the fields he owns, arguing, both strong people who must decipher whose father was the gold thief and find love in the midst of their suspicions.

 

Forest for Cara2

In this one, what does this scene depict in your mind?

A scary situation? Mystery? A lost child? Can you feel the terror? Do crazy thoughts of someone jumping out at you lurk in your imagination? Can you see children in an adventure book strolling this path?

To me, I can see in my Alex and Denton Davies series, the two of them walking this semi-dark woodland pathway, searching for clues or chasing after a suspect.

 

entry way free

And one last one to stir your creative juices…

Does this bring to mind a warm, cozy feeling? Can you see an abominable snowmen lurking close by? Or can you see a couple meeting on the ski slopes? A family adventure? A lonely older person meeting his soul mate? 

I see a mountain lodge where a female detective looks for a psycho suspect and runs smack dab into a love she hadn’t planned on. But can she find the bad person…and keep the love?

 

 

Can you see how we can use pictures and images to further our writing, to increase our creative juices, to spur us to keep writing, and to give us the encouragement we need when we’re stumped?

Take advantage of everything and all things that keep you writing.

Tell me, what do YOU see in these pictures? What do you use to sit down at your writing desk and add a few more pages to your document?