How much time do you spend looking at Book Covers? This could be at an independent book store, in a small area of a department store, or online. What draws you to certain books or even a genre you don’t read? Does the cover ‘speak’ to you? Do the colors remind you of something or someone special?
What about children? I remember when bookstores had a children’s department. Many time I’ve heard squeals of delight at the sight of certain books. Why? Some of the young kids couldn’t read yet, but saw something on the covers that excited them.
On a recent day, I walked inside our branch library and watched a storyteller hold up a book, and then let each child have a moment to touch the book before passing it on to the next child. Some did and some did not want to turn loose, running their fingers over and over the cover as if mesmerized by either the picture, the colors, or maybe both
I meandered to the reading area. Men and women sat at tables or in soft chairs devouring magazines, periodicals, and different newspapers. Some would stand beside the magazines and stare before picking one up. I did notice the more colorful covers were the first to be read.
Next, I roamed up and down the aisles of books with only the alphabet of the authors in that particular section available and the covers of their books. I found myself pulling some out, looking at the covers, before sliding back in their special place. I began to laugh as I imagined all the books naked. No not really, but wrapped in brown paper bags without a special section or genre, only the author’s name. No bright covers, no illustration to give the reader a hit, and no title. What confusion this would be for the reader. What would this do to advertising for a book publisher, bookstore, and the author? How could a reader and an author connect?
As readers, we need not only to see the book, we need to feel the book and this comes from the cover. As a wonderful author, noted for a long time, or a new author attempting to break into the world of writing and publishing, the cover is the first introduction to the story inside.
May you always see bright, interesting covers on the books you pull down to checkout  or purchase. May young readers enjoy the covers of their books with squeals of delight. May books never dress in a brown paper bag or GO NAKED.
How would you feel? Let me know.
Happy Covers. Happy Reading. 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


9776003-audienceWhich are you? Don’t stammer. Don’t hem-haw. Don’t question. Why? As a writer, you are both. I can hear your comments – last post she went to the ‘otherside,’ and now is over the edge. Stop and look at these two words and. apply them as them as a writer.

What happens when an idea forms in your head and mind? You began to expand these ideas. A setting presents a possible starting point. Then, other settings form and become other possibilities. A time period pops into your thoughts along with other political happenings in this period. Maybe you see outside the box and something unknown takes over; science fiction, paranormal, or an arrival at a point of time by who knows what.

When these things happen you are the creatER of many ideas. Next, these ideas form and you may have a story. You do many avenues of research to get the right mixture of ideas and time periods. Yes, research and research, whether for fiction or non-fiction. You can massage the research in fiction, but when you write something, you’d best have the correct information. Of course, as you create, you can mix the truth with a little variation. That’s called fiction.

But, places, ideas, setting, and story are nothing without your creation of characters. Yes, you become the creatOR, when your characters become part of the story. YOU, as a writer, have to make them come alive from nothing to the power of the people who crawl into your story. You are the creator of your characters. You give them all of the outlandish ways, cunning thoughts, beautiful bodies, and maddening tempers. Then you put in wimpish movements, unknown possibilities, bright, educated, characters, and whatever else can fit your story

Now, go write the beginning of the thoughts flowing through your mind, heart and soul. Create a place for them to gather; but be the creator of how they will interact with life.

Be a CreatER. Be a CreatOR. Be the writER you want to be.

Happy Creating.