You know the saying, "Image is everything?" Well, whoever coined the term has a point.
Having a sound platform is important, especially if you're a writer starting out. What's a platform? To put it in simpler terms, it's your social media presence, website, and whatever else you use to say, "Hey, look what I do!" It's a crucial thing to have and maintain in the publishing world, but it can also be fun. I have some tips on social media and website building that I want to share to help you strengthen your platform or start building it.
Building and maintaining your platform isn't as hard as it sounds. You just need to take one thing at a time. And you don't have to have all the things mentioned. For someone who's starting out, focus on building your website and either having a professional Facebook page or launching your Twitter account.
I hope you all enjoyed and that this information on building your platform helped! If you want me to dig deeper into the importance of some of these social media platforms, what a website should have, or something that isn't mentioned, let me know. I want to answer your questions and cover things I might have missed. The most important thing to remember is to have fun with it. This is one of the fun parts of being a writer in my opinion, and connecting with people through social media is great for building a connection with your future fans and people who could help you out down the road. It's an important step you don't want to miss out on.
Until next time. - L.P.
I've been in quarantine for the full two weeks now. I'm done! I'm free! I can go places and do things, but I technically can't because I can't drive. Beside the point. But, now that I'm out and have gone through the struggle that is isolation (yes, even introverts can spend too much time alone), I have some general advice from my time at home.
If you find yourself in quarantine and needing encouragement or something positive to focus on (besides your end date), I hope the advice and ideas provided will help you out. I wouldn't recommend it if I didn't think it helped. Do you have any tips for quarantine you want to share? Write them in the comments below! Until next time, friends!
One thing that's been beaten into me at Taylor is deadlines are everything. You meet the deadline, you become your publisher's best friend. You miss it, you mess up the publishing chain, which could result in you missing your print date. And no one wants to miss their print date.
Well, I wanted to send my proposal back to the agent I talked about last week by yesterday. I scheduled it out, every fine detail, so that I could get it back in a timely manner. Well, I didn't account for school. And the fact I'm currently in quarantine. Needless to say, I didn't make my deadline.
Don't worry: it was a deadline I set for myself. I'm the only person screwed over for missing it. But it still stinks. I feel like I can't hold myself accountable to get things done in a timely fashion. If it's homework or if I'm doing something for someone else, 99% of the time, I get it done on time. (Even with minor procrastination.) But when it comes to me, I can't hold a deadline.
Something I've started doing is scheduling out what writing or editing I need to get done by using something called a Gantt chart. While I was taking engineering courses during high school, we talked about Gantt charts, and how engineers use them to schedule out their projects so they don't fall behind. Everything they need to accomplish is on the chart, whether it's a big job or something as simple as creating that chart in the first place. They're helpful, and normally effective. So, I stole that concept and started applying it to my writing.
Currently, I have three different charts going: my book proposal (which I extended the deadline to the thirteenth so I can finish editing), editing and re-writing the rest of the first book in the Dynasty River mystery series (finishing by 10/15), and finishing the second draft of book two (finishing by 10/14). Somewhere down the road, I'll be adding re-writing book three and editing book four.
I'm not saying I'm going to follow the chart perfectly. I'm human, and also a full-time college student. But I'm training myself for the real world. I even gave myself buffer days in case I really get behind, or really need a break. Scheduling is something that's never going away, so I might as well get a head start on it now.
If this is something you want to learn more about or want to see an example of, I'm willing to put together a YouTube video showing how to create a Gantt chart. I find them helpful, and I want to provide other writers with scheduling systems that work. Let me know if that's something that would interest you!
The hardest thing about trying to get my book proposal shaped up is finding time to work on it while getting my course work done.
I just finished my fourth day of my junior year at Taylor University, and I'm so happy to be back on campus and with my friends. One thing I could live without is the homework. I'm only in four classes this semester, which is great. I'm thriving in that respect. And, honestly, I've had busy beginnings to semesters before, and this ISN'T one of them. I just kinda wish I'd gotten edits done on my book proposal before starting school again.
In case I haven't said, I've been working on updating and fixing the first book in my Dynasty River Mystery series. I currently have an agent who said it wasn't quite ready yet, but she's willing to look at it again if I make some necessary edits to both the proposal and the book. Great! Awesome! To get those edits done, I made myself a schedule and have given myself a deadline of August 31st to send it back to her. Last week, I did pretty well working on changes and sticking to my schedule. I should have finished editing chapter three and the synopsis and started making changes to the first chapter. Well, this is where I've gotten behind.
One of the biggest things I'm trying to work on, whether it's this dreaded proposal or school, is to take every assignment or page of writing as a new opportunity. Instead of saying, "I HAVE to do this assignment," I'm saying, "I GET to work on this chapter and make it better" or "I GET to learn more about [insert subject here]." I'm not saying it's not hard. Are you kidding? Trying to change your way of perceiving something is next to impossible. But it's still possible.
So, now that I've posted on my blog, I GET to continue editing chapter three of Dynasty River book one. And you know what, even if I send my proposal back and nothing comes of it, that's okay. Rejections are part of being a writer, and while it sucks, I still need to try. Wish me luck!
I'm going to go ahead and apologize for the lack of posts. Since the end of May, I've been in-depth writing the fourth Dynasty River novel, and as of the 17th of July, I finally wrapped on writing the first draft. Now that that objective has been completed, I'm going to take some time to work on smaller projects and actually read.
I said a few months ago I was going to publish a blog post called "Dialogue x Gilmore Girls," diving into the shows' dialogue and how it helped me reshape how I wrote dialogue for my books. I'm still going to do that, but I'm ironing out a few things before I actually click "publish."
I also finished reading "The Secret of the Old Clock," the first Nancy Drew mystery. I'm going to publish a book review as a blog post as well, but again, I'm still working on it.
In other news, I sent the first Dynasty River Mystery to a publisher earlier this month. I'm still awaiting word and will be for a while. Prayers for a response would be greatly appreciated. Especially by my mother, who I think is more anxious for a response than I am.
I believe that's everything. I plan on getting another post out by the end of the week to make up for not posting in so long. I do have some things planned for the future, so stay tuned! If you haven't signed up for my emailing list, please do! All it does is allow you to know when I post new things on my site. I make sure I don't spam you too much. See you next time!
Leave a comment and tell me what books you've read this summer!
Well, the last month or so has been one thing after another of cancellations, triumphs, and everything in between. So, to celebrate quarantine year 1,253, here's some of the stuff that's gone on behind the scenes for me.
1. As I said in my last post, Dynasty River Mysteries Book 1 is currently being used in one of my classes at school. I received the content edits and have been working on draft four with them. After 5 weeks of editing, I'm still not done, but I've added 6,000 words to the manuscript, added another chapter, and I feel a lot better about the shape the story is in in general.
2. I created a murder board that the majority of people assume is another conspiracy board. Which is fine. I did create it for a reason, though. The board is the first Dynasty River's murder scheme. I wanted to make sure I had enough evidence against the murderers and made sure the evidence I had matched up with my case notes I kept while I wrote the third draft of the book. I even added some things originally missing which helped bring the story together. It's a great exercise, and if you're a murder junkie like I am, it's a lot of fun to put together. (I was also jealous of my main character in my book who had one of her own, and I wanted to recreate it.)
3. Since I lost my job at the camp Dynasty River is based on, I decided there is no point in waiting to write the fourth book until the summer. The first draft of book four is in it's early stages, but I've found it hard to write. I think I'm still going to have to put it off until the summer to churn it out. It's not fair to the series to write it different from the others, but I'd rather wait for the end of next month and write it than cancel book four all together. The project's working title is called The Summer That Never Was, and as much as I want to dive into the writing process for it, I know in my heart it's not time. It's just giving me more time to clean up book 1 so I can send it to publishers this summer.
These are the biggest things going on for me right now. Hope you enjoyed! Are you getting cabin fever, too? Let me know in the comments if you are and how your combating it! Until next time, my friends!
Sorry it's been so long since I posted! This semester has been absolutely insane, and it's only going to get busier, so I'll make this short and sweet.
So far, I've been given the opportunity of having the first book in my Dynasty River series go through the publishing process in one of my classes. I just received the content edits and I'm going through the manuscript now to make changes. It's terrifying, but this is what I'm going to be doing the rest of my life, so I'm excited.
I also started writing short stories! I've never been good at it because they normally end up turning into an idea that needs a whole book to hash out the plot. I do know I need to grow as a writer, especially if I want to stay in the business, so I'm going to try getting more ready to post on my website under the "Short Stories" tab. Keep an eye out!
Finally, Lord willing, I might be querying publishers by the end of the semester to try and get Dynasty River Mysteries published! How cool is that?! I didn't think I would be ready, but I feel like God is telling me this is the next step in my writing journey. The next step after I get published is making sure I remember best seller's lists are nice, but glorifying God with the talents He's given me is the number one priority.
Stay safe guys!
Well, a new semester has started at Taylor and I already feel overwhelmed. That's okay, though. I think this semester is going to be one of my favorites for a few reasons:
1. Two of my manuscripts are being used for manuscript to book instead of one.
2. PWR planning committee is a thing I'm involved with, and I enjoy being apart of the team and planning the retreats we have with the department.
3. I'm currently reading through Psalms in my personal quiet time and it's been great so far. I'm already 20 chapters in and it's been a great motivation for me to get up in the morning and do it.
4. MY FRIENDS!
5. I'm honing my craft and voice as a writer with great people. They support, love, and care for me, which has been such a blessing.
6. I realized I'm becoming my own person. I have my own likes and dislikes and I'm learning to do my own thing and ignore negative people.
7. This is what God has set before me right now. He has called me to write books, and by golly, I'm gonna do it.
This journey is going to be hard, but not impossible. I'm ready for whatever this semester has to throw at me. Let's do this!
Last time I talked about my strange writing habits, I focused on how I enjoy writing by hand and why I do it. Welp, it's time to bring that conversation back with a new twist.
I've wanted a typewriter for quite a while. I've looked everywhere; garage sales, online, etc. Everywhere I turned, they were either too expensive or the people I talk to about it said they had just gotten rid of theirs. It was a frustrating journey and it felt like I would never find this one thing I wanted. Now, I didn't want it because I was a writer and all cool writers in TV shows had them. I wanted it because I have an appreciation for older things. The mechanics behind the typewriter and the machine in general is fascinating to me. I wanted one so I could experience it first-hand.
A few weeks ago, I was at the Greater Indianapolis Garage Sale, located at the State Fairgrounds. My family and I have gone there for several years and it was something we all enjoyed, which is saying a lot because everyone on our family is pretty different. As we walked around, my dad pointed it out. I didn't see it at first; I'm short and I'd passed the opening in the stall we were passing. I backed up and there it was.
A small, grey typewriter.
After dialogue with my family and messing around with it, I knew it was exactly what I was looking for. All the keys worked, it still had its instruction manual, and it came in a travel case. The only thing that needed to be done was replacing the ribbon, but I knew I could find one online easily. The asking price was $40, which I would've paid in a heartbeat. It had everything I wanted and what I needed to fix was something I could fix. Why wouldn't I get it? Then my dad pointed out that everything in that stall was 50% off, meaning it was actually $20.
I walked out of that garage sale with the heaviest thing I'd ever carried and a big grin on my face.
I named my typewriter Hershel; a sophisticated name for a sophisticated writing tool. It was a gift from God and I knew it the moment I laid eyes on it. Patience had paid off, and I couldn't be happier.
Sorry for the radio silence, y'all! I was working on the third draft of Dynasty River Mysteries book one. I'm happy to announce I finished it! It's the first time I've gotten that far on a single manuscript. That series in general is a mile stone for me. It's the only series of mine that has a completed sequel, let alone two! (Soon to be three :) )
Currently, I'm trying to build stronger characters and more descriptive scenes in my writing, and that's been taking up a good chunk of my time. I am trying to work on more blog posts, devotions, and book reviews for you guys, so stay tuned. Thank you for your support so far! If you don't follow me on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, don't hesitate to do that! I update those more often.
Hope you're all having a good new year and are trying new things! I can't wait to see what this year has in store!