Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Just a little TLC this week!

Stop worrying about every little things

Stop focusing on the past because it is behind you Find one healthy thing for you to do this week Forgive yourself and others and move forward Define one good thing about you Repeat the lines below: I will do what I love I will be kind to myself and others I will stop trying to control all things I will enjoy life as it comes to me I will do one nice thing for myself this week No go have a bubble bath....


Sunday, September 17, 2023

Time to Write Week 38

Group 1: Edits chapter 18

Group 2: Writing Chapter 38

Group 3: Writing Chapter 18 We are well into the 9th month of writing. It seems long to me at times but it also makes me see where I could have negotiated for more writing time most often with myself. I urge you from here on out, for the remainder of the year to stretch to get more out of your writing time. Make sure you get the chores done and the family prepared. Set up your writing space ahead of time. Put the coffee on for a timer. Use all 60 minutes on the story. Brainstorm with yourself the night before or prior to writing so you get more word count in. Now I know for myself I miss writing days here and there but when I do miss a day I try to make up that hour. And I know on vacations or when we are ill we may not get the writing done. It's OK. But get in the habit of making up for missed hours. It is hard to push for a solid year but I promise if you stick to it you'll thank me later!!! Go on. I dare ya!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Focus on a Strong Story Plot

Focus on a strong plot. A plot involves having a well-planned story that has one point to meet and this is the theme of the story. Want a strong story then everything happening in the entire story needs to reflect the theme.

Give your characters strong values, strong goals, and strong desires. Every scene should carry the strength of their desires pushing the story forward. Have a purpose for everything that is happening. If your characters are just running idle doing random things that make no sense or are not related to the story then those are wasted words. Every action should have a purpose in meeting the story plot and goals of the characters. Characters should not be turned loose without a leash. Ha. Now that being said...I am a panster. I love to let my characters lead and make things happen, but you have to keep them focused on the goal and staying true to the plot. Action is the name of the game. If your characters are rambling on talking and not much is happening....Fix it. Characters should be doing more than talking...showing the story is best with action. The dialogue just helps move the story and highlights what is happening. Readers want the dialogue but more than that they want the action and what is motivating the character. And the internal dialogue is one of the best ways to get the motivations across to readers. Internal character thoughts can go a long way. Be careful about story subplots. Any subplot should support the main plot. I mean if you have some really different subplot going on to the left of what should be happening in your main story...why? You better take a long look at what is happening. That can be confusing and a total turn-off to readers. Every subplot should have a purpose of being there in support of the main plot. Otherwise, cut it. Or find a better way to do it. A word about backstory. Use it sparingly. I know I am guilty of too much backstory at times. Sometimes it is needed to fill gaps in why a character is doing what he is doing. But as a rule of thumb if I write a paragraph on backstory I try to narrow it to 3 sentences or less in one area. I should mention again on character's Point of View. Not every character should have a POV but it depends on the Genre. Too many POVs can confuse the reader. If everyone has a thought then the impact of the POV of the hero/heroine can be lost. Most stories have POVs for the hero and heroine and possibly the antagonist or bad guy but rarely any others. Check those filter words again. I know we have mentioned that too. Filter words knock the reader right out of the story and chances are they don't keep reading. He felt She realized He saw She thought Often times those word above can be removed leaving a sentence that will work. NO MORE "SAID". Add action tags....people are mostly moving and doing as they speak. Remove Adverbs where you can. We have already talked about passive writing. But as a reminder do a search and take them out. You don't need them. So these are just some hints and if one, in particular, is hard for you then study up on it more. We should all always be learning more. All this research I am doing to make these Thursday Posts is truly remaining me of the areas where ai need to brush up on things. We all have things to work on. So let's get to it. Time to Write.

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Time to Write Week 37

Group 1: Edits chapter 17

Group 2: Writing Chapter 37

Group 3: Writing Chapter 17

New challenge for the coming week. Stick to your one hour a day all week as you have been but in the coming week escape for one hour to a library or a new place at home and bring only your writing notebook and a pen, highlighter and sticky notes..

Spend this hours with not computer or laptop going through your planning notebook from the start. Read every detail of what you have added from day one. 

Use the sticky notes to jot down new ideas of what you need to save, delete, or make better. Jot down where your story is weak. Where your story is strong. 

Spend time thinking about where you are in your story. Is the story arc happening as you imagined? Is the plot coming together? Is there suspense and conflict and a lot of it? Jot down where you need work. 

Then Spend time on each character. Are you writing about their goals, motivations and conflicts. Do you see characters growing...character arc. They cannot be the same person they started as by the end of the story. Show that to readers. Make it clear. 

Time inside your head on your story with pen and paper can really help you push the story to be better. 

Now go to it! Get an hour planned!!

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

A Few Things to Avoid in Writing

I keep sending hints this year about keeping your writing active. Passive voice is weak writing and the quickest way to make a reader disinterested in your story. But as a reminder, it takes time to get this in your head if you are new at writing. Thus the reason I repeat some topics. Active sentences are direct and to the point to show what is happening. They are not saggy and telling like a passive paragraph. Even in dialogue, the character must be straight to the point.

Active: I made the tacos.

Passive: The tacos were made by me.


Active: The cowboy raised his gun and shot the banker. 

Passive: The banker was shot by the cowboy's gun. 

Avoid Cliche's...unless you can add a new twist to them. It's also important to keep them realistic to the time period in case you write historicals like me. Common sayings may work a bit in dialogue and thought but like I said make them unique by giving them a twist. 

Example: "Well, isn't he a chip off the old block." Casey spouted and turned back to her car in a whisper, "loaded with termites."

Some participants here have asked about punctuation and type and font and a lot of stuff. It is best to leave out Italics where you can unless it is a name of something or a sign the character sees for example. But underlining in a novel is not something I have ever used very often. I have sometimes used Italics when someone is talking to themselves inside their head or when they remember what someone once said to them. 

Exclamation points are to be used very sparingly in a novel, even if there is excitement or yelling. It's assumed most often by what the character is doing. But some things are defined differently depending on the publishing house. Some authors use only commas and never semicolons. This is a house style as well. My editor doesn't worry too much about them, but I do try to swap them to commas where I find them. 

I mostly use Word and write in 12 font, Times New Roman with one-inch margins. I do not allow extra space between paragraphs. (YOU have to check the box when you set the paragraphs for the document.) I usually spell out "Chapter One" and center it. I number the ages in the top right corner and I add the title and my name in the Heading at the top. I also do five spaces for intentions but I notice some authors do three. Another house style thing I guess. 

I get into trouble opening chapters where some of them sort of open the same, so be sure to change that up. None of them should start off the same. 

It is good to do your homework but when sharing something major in prose or dialogue don't overdo it. I do a lot of research on historical things to end up only writing a sentence or two about it in my stories. If I overshare bunches of detail it would take away from the story I think. 

It is OK to change Point Of View characters in the middle of a chapter but the changeover needs to be clear. 

For Example: If your hero is giving your heroine a ring and asking for her hand in marriage. If we are in his POV he can ask for her to marry him and be saying in his head Please let her say yes. So we know if we are reading his thinking, we are in his POV and we cannot know what she is thinking except to see her tears and head nod or what she speaks. 

But if she does let a tear slip down her cheek and say yes as she falls into his embrace and she thinks her dreams have all come true....we have now switched to her POV. This is OK, but if we hop back into his POV....

Head hopping makes your reader dizzy. 

Also as you are writing actions or action tags...what the character is doing, make sure it is realistic. And make sure what is happening is something that can happen. I mean if your hero is taking her hand at the time he is firing a weapon and straightening his hat.... Uhm, not enough hands for all that. 

What other question does anyone else have? Ask here or on the authorkimturner facebook page. I am sure others have more to share than I have here. 

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Time to Write Week 36

Group 1: Edits chapter 16

Group 2: Writing Chapter 36

Group 3: Writing Chapter 16 Reminding your this week of the impact of 500 words a day. It was a previous post. So we have 35 weeks behind us. Each week has 7 days of 500 words. That's 3500 words a week. And 3500 times 35 weeks is 70K words. ONE HOUR A DAY. THE CHOICE IS YOURS. GO TO IT!!!

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Author Self-Care Focus on you!

Stop worrying about every little thing

Stop focusing on the past because it is behind you Find one healthy thing for you to do this week for yourself Forgive yourself and others and move forward Define one good thing about you this week

Repeat after me: I will do what I define that I will be kind to myself and others I will stop trying to control all things I will enjoy life as it comes to me I will do one nice thing for myself this week