Posted on Leave a comment

Writing Strong Characters

Writing strong character’s is what can make or break a book. When writing a book you want the reader to fall in love with the characters just as much as you do. So how do you create strong and believable characters?

Create your characters beforehand

If you are a plotter this will be a no-brainer but for those who like to write by the seed of their pants this might not be so obvious. My characters are the only part of the book I plan out before starting. I like to have a good grip on who my characters are. I suggest getting a piece of paper and filling it entirely with stuff about you hero/heroine. What do they like to do? How did they grow up? What problems or issues do they have? How do they eat do they scarf their food down or take small bites? Write down everything even if it’s not essential to your story line. If you don’t have a good idea of who your character is your reader won’t either.

Be consistent

Once you start writing you might discover that your character is more self-conscious than you thought. Or maybe they are coming across on the page different than you intended. Either way you want to make sure you are consistent in your writing. I often have to go back to the beginning of my story and ask myself, “Is this something X would really say?” In the beginning you are still learning your character so make sure to go back and check for consistencies.

Dialogue, dialogue dialogue!

This is something that I personally struggle with but I’m getting better. You can tell a lot about a character by the way they talk. Are they a people pleaser? Do they say yes a lot when they really mean no? Do they have a accent and say the word Y’all all the time? Don’t forget that dialogue is going to be a huge part of creating strong believable characters. Also make sure the dialogue is actually matching who they are. If you character is uneducated they probably aren’t going to be using big descriptive words when they talk.

Your character will develop

Your characters should go through some kind of change. Isn’t that the point of a story, to see a character go through change? So just because you have this perfect plan about who you character is don’t forget by the end of the book they are going to change a little bit. They shouldn’t be a completely different person but there should and will be character development.

I hope these tips were helpful. Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter for more information.

Posted on 1 Comment

Things I didn't know would happen while starting a business.

The things I didn’t know when I started running a business. The list could go on and on. I have read so many business books and listened to so many podcasts but nothing could compare to the reality of having my own company. I’ve been writing and publishing my own books since 2017, but it was only recently that I’ve created my publishing company. Along the way there are something I either complety missed in the business books I read or that aren’t just talked about.

  1. The rest of your life will probably fall apart/ fall to the back burner.

This was a big one for me and I think most women probably struggle with this one a lot. I take a lot of pride in having my life together. Before I started this business I always cleaned my house and got my laundry done on Sundays. I also sometimes meal prepped. I regularily took my car to the car wash. I had a regular 3x a week 30 minute a session workout routine. Oh the good ole days. That has all gone to hell. As women we sometimes believe the old myth that we can have it all. But, I’m going to break your heart right here and tell you that when you are growing your business other things in your life will fall apart. I regularily have a huge pile of laundry in the corner of my bedroom. Grocery shopping has become the biggest most annoying chore of my life and I won’t even get into the cleanliness of my house. I just want to let you know that it is okay! Don’t beat yourself up about it and instead embrace the messiness that is your life right now.

2. The ebbs and flows of business are very real. (Sometimes I’m extremely busy sometimes I have nothing to do.)

If, like me, you are used to working in a corporate setting this can be a shock to you. In the corporate world you go to work from 9-5 you have a moderate amount of work, sometimes busier sometimes slower, and then you go home at the end of the day. The ebbs and flows of having your own business is completly different. Let me give you an example; last week the only thing I needed to do for my business was schedule some instagram post. Thats it! For the whole week. This week from the time I got home from work at 5:30pm until I went to bed around 9pm I had to work on this manuscript. Then I would get up at 5am and work on it a couple of hours before work then I spend my lunch break at work going over it. Then I got in my paperback copies of another book which meant I had to do the final proof read for that. I also had to schedule all my marketing for the paperback because the release day is fastly approaching. I also had to work with my cover designer to get the cover made for the manuscript I was working on. I literally went from 20 min days last week to 8 hour days this week; on top of my full time job. So when I say the ebb and flows of business are extreme, I mean it.

3. Self-doubt and fear never go away.

Self-doubt and fear are going to be your companion through the entire journey. I think this is especially true if you have a creative business because no matter how long you’ve been doing whatever your doing its still scary to put something you made out there into the world. One way I’ve learned to deal with this is by creating a alter ego. The same way that Beyonce has Sasha Fierce. When I need to taking off my writing hat and put on my CEO hat I use a alter ego and I imagine that I didn’t even write this book my only job is to sell it. There a book on this called The Alter Ego Effect. If you are interested in how using a alter ego can get you to push through your fear and self doubt I recommend this book.

4. You can only run your business how YOU can/want to run it. (What can you manage? What do you want your daily life to look like?)

This was a really, really hard lesson for me to learn. I am guilty of reading all the books, listening to all the podcast, and following all the instragrams of successful authors and seeing what they were doing. At a certain point all of that has to stop and you have to figure out how you want to run your business. So many authors and people in the industry have said you have to write at least four books a year in romance to be successful. I knew from the beginning I didn’t want to turn out books that fast. I like to spend time with my characters and really bring them to life. And the idea of “rapid-publishing” isn’t true anymore. From what I’ve personally experienced Amazon doesn’t reward those who publish more frequently anymore. Rather your book sales good or not is all about the marketing you do. Two books a year is a great number for me. I can spend six months not only working on my book but also that gives me the time to get all my marketing and together. I didn’t start my business so that I could work non-stop and be exhausted everyday which would happen if I was turning out four or more books a year. I think you really have to back away from all the influence surrounding your business and what you’re “supposed to do” and think about how you want your business to be ran. Your business is YOU, YOU are your business. Do what feels good for you.

At the end of the day running a business is no easy task. There are a lot of ups and downs and obstacles that you didn’t see coming. My best piece of advice is to keep going. Keep showing up everyday and moving forward.

Posted on Leave a comment

How to Write a Romance Novel in 30 days.

Hi author friends! The way the author community has changed over the years is that there is way more competition. With self-publishing it makes it easier for people to get there book out to the world. Which is amazing! But that also means its a lot harder to stand out from the crowd? So what does that mean for new authors who are trying to build a brand? It means we have to publish more frequently. It is very difficult in 2019 to be a well known author if you are only publishing one book a year. So today I wanted to share some tips on how to write a romance novel in 30 days.

  1. Plan out what you are going to write.

I don’t mean that you need to have some elaborate outline written down if that’s not your style. But at least have a starting point of who your characters are and what you think might happen to them. I’m a pantser but I understand that if you want to write fast you have to have some kind of idea of what is going to happen in your book.

2. Find the time

Time is not going to magically appear for you to write your book. You have to decide when and where you are going to get these words done. If you work full time you might have to get up a bit earlier to write in the morning. Or you might be staying up late into the night. Maybe you can write throughout the day. I have spent plenty of my lunch breaks writing on my phone. Whatever works for you just pick a time and stick to it. Pretend its a important doctors appointment that you can’t miss.

3. Plan!

Plan for unexpected days off. Plan how many words you need to write each day. Plan how long you think your novel will be. Plan, plan, plan. This is super important to writing books quickly and getting them out. You don’t have to plan a year in advance but at least know during the month what days you can’t write and when you are going to make those words up later on.

I hope you found these tips helpful for writing a romance novel in 30 days. Don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter for more information

Posted on Leave a comment

Guidelines for Writing Romance

The winter month are upon us and its the perfect weather to cozy up and get some writing done. I read a book recently called Romancing the Beat by Gwen Hayes and it has completely changed the way I have been writing lately.

I wanted to share some of the things I picked up with other writer and tell you how it has changed my writing process. Every genre has certain elements(also called Beats) that are expected in order for it to fit into that genre. For example in romance there has to be a happy ending, if there is not a happy ending then it is not a romance.

This book really dives into what beats need to be in every romance novel to really be considered a romance. This book is also helpful for anyone writing a love story within other book genre’s. For example a YA fantasy novel with a romantic element. Romance readers, read like crazy. There is a reason why romance is one of the most popular genre. But if you have ever read romance you will find that there is a certain flow to every story. You expect there to be some tension in the middle of the book where you think all hope is lost and then there is a grand gesture where one of the characters comes to their senses and realizes they can’t live without the other one. Readers expect these beats in a romance book and the consistency is what keep them coming back. So how has this book changed how I write?

This book has taught me how to write in Acts. I’ve always been curious to how some writers organize their book while they are writing. I’m a pantser and I just kind of write from beginning to end and fix everything later on in the editing process. This book has made me change my process a little bit. Now I have started to write in four acts and after each act I go back and make sure I am hitting all the necessary beats that are suppose to be in that act. If I miss a beat I’ll write it in. Then I got on to the next act and repeat the process until my entire book is done. This has made my rough draft so much cleaner. I always dread the editing process because I feel like it is such a big mountain to climb. At least this way I feel like I am hitting all my beats and I won’t have to do any big re-writes or story constructions. I believe it will also make my editing process go a lot faster. If you would like to check out the book Romancing the Beat it is on Amazon. Also if you google Romancing the Beat there is a blog where you can print off a template that will help you with your story structure. I’ve been keeping this next to my desk every time I write. Don’t forget for updates on book release and blog post make sure to follow my newsletter http://eepurl.com/dF1a0D .