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.

 

Publishing Your Ebook Is Changing on Smashwords – Written By Lee Foster

Lee Foster on ‘The Book Designer’ provides us with information about publishing our ebooks on Smashwords and how it’s changing. Thank you very much Lee!


This is a third and final perspective in my publishing strategy trilogy, a drama festival with three events, Amazon and Ingram being the earlier performances. There have been five-week breaks between these theatrics as I proceed in the Joel Friedlander modern publishing ecosystem.

If you want to distribute your ebook through Amazon directly and then also to “every ebook vendor beyond Amazon,” how should you do it? Smashwords is my recommended choice.

Continue reading HERE

2017: A Year Without Writing

Nicholas C. Rossis informs us about his year without writing. Thanks for this interesting post.

Nicholas C. Rossis

Snoopy | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's book From snoopy.com. Copyright: United Media/United Feature Syndicate

In late 2016, I made an extraordinary decision: I would hit the writing pause button. Obviously, this was not an easy decision to reach. I made it for a number of reasons:

  • By working simultaneously on both writing and marketing, I felt I wasn’t doing justice to either. My sales were stagnating at a time when I needed them to take off.
  • I wanted to spend more time with the wee one and enjoy her nutty antics before I missed out on all her toddler silliness.
  • And after 4 consecutive years of non-stop writing, during which I published 16 titles, I was feeling burnt out. Even turning my ideas for short stories into fully fleshed-out stories felt like a chore. This was a new feeling–I had turned to writing as an escape from my day job–and one that scared me. A…

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Struggling authors, please read.

Thank you very much, Author Kyle Perkins, for your encouraging words, for your support, and for your help with our struggles! We are indeed grateful for this post. Thank you!!

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Author Kyle Perkins

By Kyle Perkins.

So lately I have heard from a few people that they feel like they should just give up on writing because for whatever reason, they are feeling like it just isn’t worth it anymore. Whether they feel like they aren’t getting enough attention, don’t have enough fans, or whatever the case may be, they are wrong, and here’s why.

Writers and authors have a gift, and because we have that gift, we have an obligation, a responsibility to use it. We may “just” arrange words in such a fashion that people enjoy reading them, but a heart surgeon “just” transplants hearts, and astronauts “just” go to space. We need to stop treating writing like it is simply a hobby that “anyone” can do, because that’s not the case. We “just” take people to places they can’t go on their own, and give them a form of escapism…

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Guest Post: Security Tips for Self-Publishing Authors by Cassie Phillips

Thank you very much, Kate M. Colby for these very educational tips concerning the security of our work. this is extremely valuable for us newbies! You rock!

Kate M. Colby

Today, I’m excited to bring you a guest post from professional blogger Cassie Phillips. Cassie writes for Secure Thoughts, a website dedicated to helping everyday people manage their personal internet security. Here, Cassie provides her tips and tricks for securing your self-published work, as well as protecting yourself and your copyright. 

writingSecurity Tips for Self-Publishing Authors

It’s an exciting day for you. You’re ready to publish that novel you’ve been writing for months, if not years. Perhaps you’ve taken a shot at non-fiction and want to share the knowledge you’ve put together in a single tome. You may even be writing about something brand new and exciting.

You could go with some big publisher, but the costs are high, and you risk making very little money on your book as the publisher will be taking most of it. So here you are. You’ve decided to self-publish. Maybe it’s your…

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The 24/7 Indie Author Experience: Writing & Promoting On Your Own

Author Corey Carter has shared a blog post about the 24/7 Indie Author Experience: Writing & Promoting on your own. She has provided us with so much helpful information. Thank you Corey!

Corey Carter

I’m sure that almost every seasoned Indie Author will tell you that the majority of us work endless hours with little pay in the beginning. This has been my own experience thus far. After I published my first novel, Shadows of Deception, I was proud of my achievement, but then I realized that Amazon wasn’t going to just miraculously sell my book for me. I spoke with my cousin, a well established Indie Author, and she warned me of the obstacles and hard work ahead. The purpose of this post is to give both new, and already established authors, some insight about my own experiences in this industry so far.

Start marketing before you write your book! 

Indieblog1I can’t emphasize this enough. I won’t lie; I had no idea what twitter was, until after I published my romantic thriller novel. No clue! With the exception of my own personal Facebook and…

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About Reading Recommendations Reviewed

Susan M. Toy published a blog post about ‘How to support an Indie Author’, which I find very helpful, useful and admirable, to each one of us. Thank you Susan!

Reading Recommendations

I launched a new blog the other day that’s dedicated to publishing honest and positive reviews of books I’ve featured on this blog, Reading Recommendations. Today I created a page with information about the blog and how to get your reviews posted on it. Please read About Reading Recommendations Reviewed and send me your reviews for future consideration.

How to support ANY Author!!

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Why I’m Mad About Self-Publishing Stigma

Liz Long probably speaking for many Indie-authors. Read her article. She rocks!! Thank you, Liz!

I’m mad.

What’s worse is that what I’m mad about is truly something out of my control. There’s not a thing I can do about it except keep pushing barriers. To hold my head high and keep on keepin’ on with the rest of the crowd.

You can probably guess why I’m angry thanks to the headline. Wait – no, I’m NOT mad about self-publishing. But rather the thoughts behind self-publishing and the ideas that we’re not as good or “real” as traditionally published authors.

The publishing system isn’t broken by any means, but the stigma behind “traditional” and “indie” publishing has really gotten my goat lately.

I’m independently published, or self-published. What does that mean? It means I do not have an agent or traditional publisher backing me. It means that I’m in control of my stories, my edits, my covers, my marketing, and everything else that goes along…

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