EDNA & ETHEL ARE BACK

Two friendsThought we disappeared into the sunset like Thelma and Louise? No Way. We’ve been reading all about the revising process.STOP. You can revise, revise the revised, and re-revise the revised and your work can fall into pieces.

We try to keep up with your social media networks, Linked Together. No Edna, you are wrong. It is called LinkedIn. So big deal, it still links everyone together. Don’t care what you think, Ethel, but you got excited about this question posed to all the readers: Professional Editing vs. Professional Marketing. This gave us another chance to discuss our opinions (more like bickering back and forth), and came up with the same answer. You see, we’ve been together for so long, we need the excitement of hefty discussions to arrive at the same answer PROFESSIONAL EDITING. Lot more fun.

Every book writer can do marketing, book launches and sales as you prepare your audience for a new book or an addition to your series. What matters are your readers. Get their responses with a few advanced copies or freebies. Never knew any one to turn down a free book.

A writer writes to get a GREAT novel out to their readers. A GREAT book delivers interest to your readers and your characters draw the readers into the story. with their voice. Sometimes the voice is timid. Forget this voice and go for the one that snaps the sentences off the page.

What about the action in your book? Do your characters dawdle? Do you bring your characters face to face with their fears? We’ve faced many fears in our lives and found the best survival mode – OUR principles. A little forgiveness and your reader can connect. You can also use this method to motivate your characters. Step into a different boundary and see what they can do.

When you give your readers a great novel, they will connect and in turn help you move your sales ahead. Sure, you need to be on top of your work, give book signings, answer questions, email your subscribers, and get yourself out among your readers. Do not forget to support other writers.

Make your writing pop, crackle, and crunch. Forget all the non-action words, scenes, characters and you will bring joy to your readers and increase your sales. But you need a great novel, edited and ready to ride into the sunset, as we must do now.

Thanks for letting us pop in and we will visit again soon. So for now, pop those pages and listen to your readers. Any comments? We can take the good and the bad and the ugly. Sorry, we had to add this.

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REVISE REVISE REVISE

Lost ConfidenceWHAT AGAIN? I just finished revising and reading and revising. How many times does this happen? Think about this process as a new way to check your revised manuscript.

You now have folders of information on the settings of your story and have made some changes. Take another look–do you still see some difficult areas? Your heart and mind are still wrapped around your story and you might miss some needed changes. These changes will be easy and can be fun. Tighten your seat belt and keep the fingers warm on the keyboard.

This is where you give your MUSE some much-needed time to rest and bring the SENSOR out of his box. He will be riding gunshot for you and you’ll know the areas to revisit. In this section, you need to be the reader and not the writer. Can you feel the story? Do the emotions of the characters swim off the page and into your heart? Can you hear a certain song run through your head as you walk the pages with your characters? Can you visualize the scenes through the music? If not, would a different tune increase the emotions of your characters. Music, writing, characters, and themes all tie themselves together. So listen to your characters and what they want.

Another way to read through your draft is with pictures. Yes, you got some of these through online information. Take some of these out of the research folder and pin them to a big board by your computer. With little trouble, you can move these pictures around, add new ones, and take some down, until you create the feeling of your story. Look and see if any of these creative visuals translate to your work. Can your characters move around with confidence? As a reader, can you see them working, living, playing, fighting, and loving in these scenes?

Do the characters have a clear objective? Is there enough conflict or too much, are their emotional struggles real and you want to yell at them or push them forward. Your SENSOR loves to stir up trouble. Did he find enough obstacles for the characters to overcome? If not, you might want to put some stumbling blocks in front of the hero or heroine. What about the antagonist? Are then enough negative points as strong as the positive points?

You notice both your Sensor and Muse are quiet. This has been a hard journey for the three of you: writer, sensor and muse. Take a breather. Get away from your story and revision(s). Take a walk, go for a run, and let the mind wander. Sometimes when we let go, we gain more insight.

Tomorrow is another day for writing. A new song might fill your head and you’ll find your characters sassy and happier than ever. Revising is hard work. Look at all you have accomplished.

Congratulations. Happy Writing.

R + R + R

Yes, you are busy revising, but now you must add to this. WHAT?  Revising, reading, and revising are all part of the process. You might revise, but until you read these revisions, you will not know if your changes are as strong as they can be or if there are wasted words? Read your work like a reader and not a writer through this time. You need to recapture the feelings you had while writing your draft. Are they in place, or did the revisions take them out?

So, I’m revising my revision? Yes. Have you done enough research in your first draft? Look again and see if there are any places you might have missed. Research is vital to your fiction’s correctness. A wrong street in a certain town or the church on the right corner, when the church sits in the next block on the left corner.

But, I cannot get to all the places: too far away, not enough time, and the cost is too great. How can I get all of this correct? Go on-line and get information from the State you are writing about. These departments are willing to share their history along with maps, photos, and people willing to talk about their homeland. Do not be shy. Take any information you may receive, AND be certain you include this in your acknowledgements.

Visit the net for information, in your state and area, for weather years ago or current. What songs came from a jukebox, radio or television. Check out everything you can find. Your story takes place fifty years ago. You could destroy your creditability if you put in a current day’s song. Keep all of your research and backup material with your story as you progress from first draft to the tenth revision. This is your backup to your story, whether fiction or non-fiction. If you know the facts, you can massage the fiction.

Go back through again and check where you stop showing and begin telling the story. Make a list of these areas, and then turn off your SENSOR. Write a new paragraph to show all the possibilities for your characters. Do not apply pressure to them, only to yourself to make the characters shine. Add details, delete tell words, let your mind lead you to your character’s interest.

You will feel the release of power with the words and your revision will stand out. Your characters will show what they want and you are in the position to give them their place in your story. They will dance to get on the page. Invite them for a second dance and you will be on top of the world.

Revisions completed? Only you will know, and then you are on your way. Look at revisions as a way to improve your writing, bring new life to your characters, and give the best you have to your story.

Happy Writing

TOXIC CHARACTERS

AudienceWhy not have some fun today and play with toxic characters? This will get your mind spinning, your fingers dancing on the keyboard, and you might end up with a new thought, story or character for your next book. There are many versions of toxic characters, but here are a few that came into my mind.

TAKERS – want everything and will try anything to get their wants fulfilled. They take and take and take, but never give back. Can’t you picture this character in your mind? Remember, these toxic characters are both male and female.

ABUSERS – abuse your friendship, your friends, your family. No, they do not go around with a sledge hammer, and sometimes you have no idea you are being abused. They nit-pick, start rumors, make confusing statements., They are aggressive and not bothered by their actions.

DEPENDENTS – are needy characters. They need apprval to do about anything and want you to be there with them. They depend upon you for information, friendship, love and whatever else they can think will make them a better person. They cannot make a decision on their own without talking about it over, and over, and over.

LISTENING – this character pretends to be so intent on every work you are saying, and remembers word. This listening practice gives way to rumors. You may have said something, but the character turns words around. A listener is a great booster to an ego until the moment is over, and then chaos reigns.

SNEAKY – you can’t forget about these characters. They can prod information from you and you’ll never know, until it is too late. They want something, like the TAKERS, but they sneak to get everything. Bits and pieces of information are all they need. Then, they ad lib their own thoughts and sneak into whatever crowd is around

POOR ME –  brings even an upbeat attitude down. This character is never satisfied with life, the weather, the group, or a dinner at a neat restaurant. They always have problems bigger and bigger than anyone else, and want sympathy and a hand held. Watch out….they will pull you down faster than quicksand.

Okay, these are my versions of toxic characters. I’m certain you can add different toxic names and more descriptive definitions. So think.

Put your creative mind to work. See if you can write a short paragraph about some of these characters and how you might incorporate them into your writing. You might have a lot of fun with Toxic Characters.

Happy Writing..

THREE C’S PLUS ONE

An IdeaWhat has this got to do with writing? The same thing as living. We need to incorporate these three cs in our daily lives, and this includes writing. I heard an interesting comment this week: write by day and edit by night. Wouldn’t this keep you on your toes and get a lot done? But, I have a life. Yes, we all do, so we need to examine the following.

#1 CONTROL – We need to take charge of our lives. This includes a personal life and a writing life. If you have an outside job, you plan each day for what needs to happen: immediately, able to work in or fit around other items, and schedule for another day. Writing and your personal lives revolve around the same parameters. Sometimes, we need to find our voice and say “no.” Maybe you write better in the morning or you get up and do chores early to write in the afternoon. If there are children, you juggle, but you still control what needs to be done and when.

#2 COMMITMENT TO SELF – You have to make an agreement with yourself and commit to YOUR plan, rules, regulations or whatever you want to name them. If you have always dreamed of writing, then start now with a commitment:  I will write ___ hours a day; ___ a week; ___ hours a month. All of these commitments are there for a purpose–to keep you grounded in your dream. A dream is a wonderful tool and an endorsement to yourself. You need to get your words on paper, computer screen, or even scraps of paper. These words fuel your spirit and mind.

#3 CHALLENGE – All of life is a challenge and sometimes ends like we want, other times the ending is unbelievable. The challenge we put before ourselves can be daunting and exhilarating. Do not go for the routine, head into unknown territory. Stomp, do not tiptoe. Stretch your mind, your body, your attitude, and yourself. You won’t break and look at some of the new lessons you can learn. A challenge gives courage and determination to you. Once the ride starts, you’ll never want to get off or slow down. When one challenge is met, another finds its way to the top. Keep the challenges coming.

THE PLUS ONE —– CREATIVITY

This is where you forget the rules, regulations, plans, and schedules. This is where you meet your dream head-on. You create the world you want with the characters you place in this new experience. You create your own town, if fiction, or remember a town from your childhood, non-fiction, BUT you still create. New emphasis on lives, loves, places, seasons, and a little mystery to keep readers turning pages. This is your dream world and with control, commitment, and challenges you can create anything you want. So, what are you waiting for? Go for your dream