Is There a Point in Character Bios? – Written By Charles Yallowitz

On the ‘Legends of Windemere’ blog, Charles Yallowitz published an interesting view on character bios. Thanks a lot for this post, Charles!


I can already hear at least once pantser preparing to explain why they don’t do this.  If it helps, person with fingers at the ready, you’re right.  Character biographies don’t work for everyone.  They aren’t even universal because everyone has their own way of doing them because every author has different needs.  Some even change from story to story or as our own skills grow.  I know that I’ve been all over the map as you’re about to see.

Character bios are where I started since tabletop games were my first inspiration alongside fantasy books.  This resulted in my originals being more about numbers stats and basics instead of depth.  I had hair, eyes, height, weight, skin, and physical attributes with very little variety.  I couldn’t tell you what the real difference between a 4 and 5 in strength really was.  A 1-5 ranking was probably a dumb choice.

CONTINUE READING HERE

How I Stay Organized While Writing a Story – Written By Sharon K Connell

Whether you’re a traditionally published or an Indie author/writer, whether you are the type who outlines your entire book or write by the seat of your pants, or even if you’re somewhere in between, a writer needs to be organized. That organization may look like utter chaos to others, or your writing space may lean toward the OCD type personality. It does matter, as long as it works for you and helps you accomplish your goals in writing.

Throughout the writing of my now seven books, my writing space has always leaned more toward the chaotic look to others. But I do know where everything on my desk is at the moment it’s needed. Well, maybe not every time, but it doesn’t take me long to find something.

From the beginning of my writing career, I’ve been an Indie Author, and I write by the seat of my pants. No outline beforehand is needed. When I first start to write a story, I start with a 5 subject spiral notebook or a 3-ring binder. Each section is labeled for quick access.

 

The first section is designated for my characters profile. Each character, starting with my main character and then as they show up in the story, has their own page, which is numbered. On that page, I write down everything I know about the character, starting with their appearance. As the story progresses, each time I give a specific attribute to or detail about the character, I list it on the page.

At the top of the page, under the character’s full name, is noted hair color and texture, eyes, height, physique, etc. Later I might add the kind of car they drive, where they work, and even how they drink their coffee. In this way, if it comes up again, the character doesn’t change their appearance or habits. A list of the characters and the page where their information is found is on the front divider for that section.

The next section has what I call a “Running Outline” of the story.

In other words, I mark the chapter and scene in the margin and give a brief explanation of what’s happening in that scene. The day and time, if changed from the previous scene, is also noted.

While I’m creating the running outline, I jot down all special events on a calendar. For instance, if my character is celebrating Thanksgiving dinner in 2020 with a friend out of town, and a fire breaks out which is pertinent to the story, I notate it on the calendar. If an important character shows up for dinner the next day, I notate it on the calendar. In this way, I can see at a glance how many days have elapsed from that event to the next without having to reread all my notes.

It helps to keep your timeline straight.

Major ideas are jotted down in the last section. That also becomes my catchall for all ideas, changes, things I need to check, etc.

The other two sections are used for research notes and misc. like things to check before sending the ms to the editor.

At the end of the spiral, I work backward on the pages to make notes for a book launch, book trailer, etc. Extra tabs come in handy here.

From the picture of my desk above, you can see that I have many notes hanging on my desk. These are information notes I refer to all the time while writing, so I don’t have to keep looking things up in my many resource books.

Being an Indie Author, I don’t have to keep to a strict schedule like writing so many words per day. But I do keep myself on a loose schedule. I know I want to have a new book published during the summer, and something smaller (novella, short story collection, etc.) at the end of the year. But I don’t stress over it. Since I’ve fallen into a pattern of doing the stories this way for the past two years, it now comes naturally.

I hope I’ve given you an idea of how to organize your writing system. Most of you seasoned writers probably already have your own organizational method, but maybe this will help one or two of the newbies on the block. J

Best wishes on your writing journey.

 

Here are the links to my books in order of publication.

A Very Present Help http://amzn.to/2yuF4eE 

Paths of Righteousness http://www.amazon.com/dp/1732923701 

There Abideth Hope http://www.amazon.com/dp/173292371X 

His Perfect Love http://amzn.to/2iCMALI 

Icicles to Moonbeams (Novella) https://amzn.to/2OfcHYi

Treasure in a Field www.amazon.com/dp/1732923736

Sharon’s Shorts~A Multi-Genre Collection of Short Stories https://www.amazon.com/dp/1732923744

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/sharonkconnell

 

Here’s a comment or two about my writing to tempt you. J

“The author writes with a uniquely vivid and dramatic touch that keeps the reader engrossed in the narrative throughout. Her characters are strongly drawn, distinctly memorable, and wholly realistic. Her plot-lines are, in this writer’s experience, top-drawer in their nail-biting intensity.” From Author, Alan O’Reilly

“Connell knows exactly how to prime the reader for a knockout climax. She litters her scenes with genius, loaded details to heighten the tension. She increases the stakes with every page. Behind the humor and romance, she builds the danger until any little sound — elevator doors that open in the story and the phone that rings next to you on the side table — sends your heartbeat into a cardio workout.

“The edge of your seat may be frayed, but when your doctor remarks that your heart is healthy and robust, you’ll thank the suspense-induced cardio workout Connell gave.”~Andra Loy, ACFW Scribes member

Please take time to visit me on my website: www.authorsharonkconnell.com I’d love to hear from you.

 

The Future of Barnes and Nobles – Written By Nicholas C. Rossis

Thank you so much for this article, Nicolas, even though it almost breaks my heart.


The Passive Guy recently shared a post by Jane Friedman on the future of Barnes & Noble; a topic you may remember from my earlier post, “How Amazon Destroyed Barnes & Noble.”

Quite frankly, Jane’s post made me sad. The latest chairman, James Daunt, is credited with saving UK’s famous bookstore, Waterstons. However, all you got to do is read the following quotes to understand that he really doesn’t get B&N – or books.

Early on, when Daunt was asked what he thought of Barnes & Noble on his last store visit, he said, “There were too many books,” by which he meant that featuring the right inventory is more important that stocking a big blur of titles. Back in 2015, he commented to Slate, “My faculties just shut down when I go in there.”

So… the big problem with a bookstore is that it has too many books.

And this gem:

Daunt loves the physical book, but he wants to give customers a digital option to get them into reading as an entry to physical books.

An entry. To physical books. Like, kids use digital books but us, highbrow grownups, know better. “Thank you, Amazon, B&N will stick to our guns and our lovely paper. No need for this new fandangled way of doing things.”

 

CONTINUE READING HERE

The Crucial First Page of Your Novel – Written By C.S. Lakin

Thanks for this very educational and interesting blog post, C. S. Lakin. The post was published on ‘Live Write Thrive’. Many of us appreciate your efforts.


Most authors know that the first pages of a novel are the most crucial and carry the weightiest burden in their entire book. The opening scene must convey so many things that often the author will have to rewrite it numerous times to get it right.

But the first page is especially crucial to get right.

Continue reading HERE

 

My Article On ‘Brainhackers.com’ Has Gone Live!

I’m very proud to present the article I wrote for ‘Brainhackers.com’ earlier this month.

I was asked to write an article for that website and I’m quite honored about that. Enthusiastically I started writing and I hope very much not only the ‘Brainhackers’ readers are going to have a good read, but also my readers here on ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’.

You will find the article here:

 

Brain Lethargy – Age Or Technological Development

http://brainhackers.com/brain-lethargy-age-or-technological-development/

 

Let me know in the comments how you find it please, I’m curious.

When is the Best Time of Year to Release a Book?

Provided by Self Publishing Review

In Hollywood, there’s a pretty set calendar for when movies are released: horror movies are usually released around Halloween, high-concept blockbusters in the summer, Oscar movies start in November, movies that aren’t blockbusters or Oscar contenders in February.

Does the book trade follow the same release schedule?

The answer is, more or less, yes.

Continue reading HERE

New Platform Connects Self-Published Authors With Readers – Written By Elaine Pofeldt

On the FORBES.com site Elaine Pofeldt writes an article about a new platform which connects self-published authors with readers. Thank you very much for this information Elaine!


It’s not easy to promote a book, and for self-published authors on a tight budget, it can be especially challenging.

Reedsy —a U.K.-based publishing startup that connects authors with editors, designers and marketers who can help them with their projects—has announced a new service to help them called Reedsy Discovery. Reedsy Discovery, which launched today, will let readers know about books its expert reviewers have recommended every week. Those who join are able to look through curated “bookshelves,” preview chapters and connect with other readers. Reedsy Discovery will also issue a weekly newsletter of top books in popular genres and books curated by trusted reviewers. It will also offer a leaderboard where readers can vote on their favorite titles.

“Most titles never get visibility,” says Reedsy CEO and Co-founder Emmanuel Nataf, who says the reasons often stem from a lack of knowledge of book promotion or reluctance to market their work. “We worked on a platform that will help authors find their target market,” he says.

To read the entire article go to:

New Platform Connects Self-Published Authors With Readers

A Woman’s Most Hated Annual Appointment

This blog post is part of the BOAW Blogfest 2018, organized by August McLaughlin, founder of the “Girl Boner” brand.

To check out more blog posts, follow the fest and maybe win a fun price, please go to August McLaughlin’s blog and check out the blog fest here:  http://www.augustmclaughlin.com/beauty-woman-blogfest-vii/


I’m still not sure in what category this post belongs. In a way, it’s a health post more than a beauty post. But since beauty and health belong together, it might be both. Then I found out it is a quite ‘clinical’ post… more medical than anything else, and still: at the end I’m talking about a woman’s most private body parts, which makes it very much non-sexual, but still enough to probably belong into the GB version of Augusts blog fest. And that’s why it’s here.

What I said before I find essential to my life. Health and beauty belong together in my opinion. When I feel like a piece of seven-year-old cheese, having a fever, a horrible headache or suffer from constipation, it doesn’t matter how much makeup I plaster my face with, I’m grumpy and unwell, and I won’t be able to shine. I’m miserable, and it shows. A radiant woman is beautiful, a woman who takes care of herself is beautiful. A radiant woman is one who’s healthy and shows it. A woman like this is beautiful. To be and stay healthy, and to make sure we discover early enough if that’s not the case, occasional visits to the doctor belong to our life. But there is this one appointment, no matter how healthy we keep us – this one annual visit – we all hate from the bottom of our hearts.

There is this one picture that’s burned into our thoughts, memories, and brains, forever. That chair. The most hated chair on Earth – and no, it’s not the one at the dentist. It’s the one that’s about 1000 times worse than the dentist’s most valuable possession.

In every woman’s life, there is this one annual medical examination that turns the most peaceful nun into a maddening fury: Her visit to the gynecologist.

You sit in the doctor’s office, talk to your gynecologist for a couple of minutes before he tells you: “Go over there and undress down below.”

You disappear behind that wall and take your pants or skirt and undies off. And I keep asking myself two questions: “My doctor sees everything in only a few moments. What the hell is this wall for?” And: “If ‘undressing my lower regions’ mean everything – what the hell am I going to do with my socks?

Then you take place in that really, really embarrassing chair. You half lean, half sit there in the most unsettling position. And then your gynecologist tells you the first of two standard sentences: “Could you please slide down closer to me.” I always feel like telling him: “Hey, Mister. If I slide down even a couple of inches closer, I’m going to sit on your face! – But who the hell cares. I’m already laying here in the weirdest position you can imagine… go ahead and stick into me whatever you feel like.” Whoops… of course I’d never say that, but I guess, the women who are going through this regularly know what I mean.

He does whatever he has to do to find out if everything is okay. I doubt I need to describe the confusing and often cold touch of the instruments and the uncomfortable feelings. Of course, this examination is necessary and often lifesaving! I am grateful to have the chance to go to these examinations be lucky enough my doctor screens for early detection of a disease or illness! But this doesn’t make it any better.

In the end, the gynecologist usually checks your breasts, which is a good and necessary thing to do as well. But it’s not less embarrassing than the upsetting position in that chair.
I’m positioned there like a stranded whale, and the next thing I hear is the second, deeply disturbing standard sentence: “I’m sorry, my hands are cold.” And here I am, laying as still as I can, thinking with all my mighty thoughts: “Don’t’ get hard, you nipples… relax… Do. Not. Get. Hard.” – Usually, no focus is going to help to avoid the unavoidable. The doctor’s hands are cold! Dammit.

After the examination, you get dressed again, which is probably happening much faster than the undressing, even more, if you decided to keep your socks on.

At my last examination, my gynecologist told me: “You know, I realized you’re my patient for quite some time… let’s see: It’s over 20 years now.” I nodded and looked at him, replying: “Yes, I know. And this makes you officially the longest relationship I was ever in.” He smirked. “Business cooperation you mean?” And my answer was: “Business, yeah, sure, haha. What other man gets that close to me?” He laughed loudly.

And yes, I think it’s a good thing to pick a gynecologist with a good sense of humor!

__________________________________________________

Picture courtesy of http://www.google.com

 

Why Some People Like to Read Sex-Free Romance – Written By Bryn Donovan

Bryn Donovan, writer, optimist and geek, provides us with a fantastic blog post about ‘Sex-Free-Romance’. Thank you so much, Bryn! I love it!

 

 

 


Most readers of my blog know that I write some steamy romance. A few of you even know that in the past year, I got a new job editing “sweet romance,” which is the industry term for romance with no sex at all.
I’ve always enjoyed all kinds of romantic stories and movies as a reader and a viewer, so I don’t find it strange at all to work on both. I’m even in the middle of writing a sweet romance right now.

However, I’ve always known that lots of people, particularly people who haven’t read a romance in twenty years, treat steamy romance writers with derision. They make jokes about the goofy euphemisms romance writers supposedly use for sex organs, although almost all romance writers have discarded these in favor of more direct language.

They also behave as though writers of sexy romance must all be bad writers. Most romance writers are women, and there is some sexism at work here: a discomfort with women authoring sexual content instead of being the object in it.

I’ve known all that for years. What I’ve learned in the past year, though, is that plenty of people also deride sex-free romance.

 

Read the entire article here:

http://www.bryndonovan.com/2017/12/01/why-some-people-like-to-read-sex-free-romance/

 

 

Chapters Indigo Announce That They Plan to Enter the US Market!

I found this article, written by Amy Collins, over at The Story Reading Ape’s blog. This is amazing news!
Thank you Chris and Amy for spreading word about this.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

By Amy Collins  in The Book Designer Magazine 

This is big guys….

While Barnes & Noble, the largest chain bookstore in the United States, has been struggling, Canada’s largest bookseller, Indigo Books & Music, announced plans to expand into the United States for the first time, starting with the Mall at Short Hills in New Jersey, in the summer of 2018.

Currently, Indigo runs 89 superstores under the names Indigo and Chapters, plus 122 smaller stores under the names Coles, Indigospirit, SmithBooks, and The Book Company.

Unlike B&N, Indigo’s online sales grew 15 percent last year, and in the Canadian ebook market, Kobo outsells Amazon.

See the Indigo Q2 Report HERE

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