Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Plotting your book. There is help.

I recently heard author Jeanne Adams speak about Plotting for Success!  How to Plot, even if you hate it. She admitted that she often had trouble in the middle of her books and realized it would help if she developed some sort of plot.

Plotting can keep you from painting yourself into a corner or running into dead ends. It can help you finish your current book instead of moving on to a new one.

Some people told her to use sticky notes. That method did not work for her, so she sought other plotting ideas. She stressed that you have to do it your way. It must feel comfortable or you will not do it.

Plotting helps you know where you are going. It’s like a map. Even if you write by the seat of your pants, a plot can help fill in the gaps. With an outline you can start anywhere in your book, then go back and fill in things you have to do to get there.

The W Plot sounded the easiest to me. You start drawing a line from your inciting incident down to the first black moment, then back up to the midpoint of the story. Then you go back down to the big black moment and then rapidly up to the conclusion and wrap-up.

We worked with a few different stories using this method, choosing events to list along the sides and top of the W, creating a basic plot. You gradually can add more plot points.

If this method doesn’t work for you, Adams suggested Michael Hauge’s Six Stage Plot Structure with Five Turning Points. More details about that are available at www.StoryMastery.com.

She also discussed Kurt Vonnegut’s method, the Snowflake method and working backward. Think - If you are stuck, what has to happen before you get to the end?

I have never liked outlining, but the W plot sounds like something I can do. With the basic story pictured, I could make an outline when the W becomes cluttered with my ideas.
Jeanne Adams, front center, with Carroll County writers and guests
She stressed to use whatever method works for you. For more information, check out JeanneAdams.com or JPAGryphon@aol.com.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Promoting books

As I mentioned in a previous blog, I recently self-published my first novel through Kindle Direct Publishing. KDP. Storm on Savage Mountain has been selling and I have been getting royalties, even though I haven't don't too much to promote it yet.

I wouldn't recommend self-publishing to everyone. It takes a lot of learning and a lot of effort, but it worked for me.

I have been  furiously writing a second book that takes place in the same area in the summer instead of in the mountain winter. Since it is titled The Haunted Train Station, I was trying to get it out before Halloween. Time is running out but I am still working hard.

Recently I sold a few of my books at the Open House held by the Carroll County Chapter of Maryland Writers' Association. Below is a photo of me signing one of my books.

I will be selling my books at Author Day, at the Carroll County Agricultural Center on Saturday, November 3rd, Westminster, MD, near the Farm Museum.

Because so much of this is new to me, I may not be doing things the best way to promote my books. I do have a lot more ideas, but worry I am neglecting my blog and duties I have with my writing group and my family.

I was thrilled to have my son and daughter-in-law visiting us from California recently. Writing had to be put on hold.

 It was a good time for a family picnic and other chances to get together.
We even have my son-in-law's parents visiting from Scotland.

So many wonderful things are happening, it is hard to spend as much time as I should at my computer. So I hope you will forgive me for missing a few of my blogs.

I have enjoyed writing my blogs, experimenting and changing as I went along. I am planning to continue to write them. Now, they may have a bit more personal information included, as well as continued advice about writing (from people more expert then I am) and about books worth reading. There are so many wonderful books, just waiting for us.

So if you are in the Westminster area on November 3rd, maybe take a few minutes to visit me and other area writers at Author Day.

If you aren't nearby, see if there is a similar event close to you.

Have fun reading and writing.