Finishing Your Novel…How To

March 8, 2018- I feel that the title to this particular post is slightly misleading. It’s not really a How-To type of post, but rather some real world tips on I personally finished two novels this year. I’m no different than you are. I have a family, pets, a household and I am the head of two companies and counting. I am a wife, a sister, an aunt, a daughter, a writer, a publisher, a public speaker, a teacher, and I enjoy lots of different hobbies in my free time, just like you! With all of these demands on my time, how is it even remotely possible that I’d be able to finish one novel in a year, let alone two? Here’s a not so secret, secret; I write when I can, wherever I can, when there are spaces in between.

That’s not saying that I’m not disciplined with my writing, but there are some days that get skipped because there are more pressing demands on my time. Personally, this is my process and this process will be different from author to author.

  1. I start with an idea– I have at least 6 notebooks that are packed to the brim with story ideas or as I like to call them, story starters. That’s not to say that I’ll use all of them or any of them, but this allows me to start brainstorming when inspiration strikes. I read them every now and again and more often than not, they lead me to begin forward motion on my writing.
  2. I create an outline-If anyone has sat in on any of my classes, they know how mental I am about outlining! Outlining allows me to know what the story is about, where it’s going, and how it ends. I don’t need to know every single detail, but I need a general idea and some good bones of the story to get a feel for it.  Sometimes my outlines are elaborate, sometimes they’re simple. It depends and most of the time there is no rhyme or reason for which way I decide to do it.
  3. I write in between-As mentioned earlier in my post, I write in scraps of time that I manage to pull together here and there. I write in notebooks, and on pieces of napkin, on backs of discarded envelopes, and on my phone. I write wherever I can and whenever I can. I write while waiting in the doctors office, I write while on hold on a phone call, I write in my truck if I arrive ten minutes early to an appointment and I write in between meetings. THIS is the single most effective thing that I have ever done to finish my novels, because let’s face it, no one sits down to start and finish a novel all in one shot.

With all things considered, I urge you to write in a disciplined manner, setting aside blocks of time each day to tackle your novel, but don’t neglect those stolen moments.

Keep Writing,



POV, the 3 Types. But Wait! There’s 1 More!

As fiction writers, we know that there are primarily three points of view (POV) in storytelling. There is an additional point of view that doesn’t usually get a lot of attention. As a publisher, I would be intrigued if an author approached me with a manuscript that used the 4th point of view.  Let’s explore them all!  

  • First Person– a point of view that is told from the protagonist’s perspective in the story through the use of the pronoun, “I.” The character is in the story relating his or her experiences directly. 

        Example, “I am not pretty.”  “I am not beautiful.” “I am as radiant as the sun.”
                                                   -The Hunger Games

  • Second Person-like first person, second person is told from the protagonist’s perspective, however, using the pronouns “you,” “yours,” and “your.” This POV is common in non-fiction but is not as common in fiction.

Example, “You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood, and self, and purpose.” 
-The Night Circus

  • Third Person Limited– is told by an unnamed narrator who is not part of the story or plot. When referring to a person, place, idea, or thing, the writer uses he, she, or it. The narrator is outside of the story and relating the experiences of a character.

Example, “What’s that?” he snarled, staring at the envelope Harry was still clutching in his hand.
-Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban

The 3 POV’s above are the most common, but there is another point of view that can also be used! It is:

  • Third Person Omniscient-The story is still about “he” or “she,” but the narrator has full access to the thoughts and experiences of all characters in the story. This pov is most associated with 19th-century novels and is told from an “all knowing” perspective.

Example, “Shall you wear them in company?” said Celia, who was watching her with real curiosity as to what she would do.
‘Dorothea glanced quickly at her sister. […] “Perhaps,” she said, rather haughtily. “I cannot tell to what level I may sink.”

So there you have it, all four types of narration, which will you choose for your work? 


Publishing 101 Course at the Hamilton Public Library Sherwood Branch

December 9, 2017- I’m happy to say that the turn out to my last class, Novel Writing 101 was great last week. Lots of brilliant minds with excellent ideas for stories that are fiction and non-fiction. On Monday, December 11th, at 7:00pm, I will be teaching a class on Publishing 101. The course will include the major differences between self and traditional publishing, the benefits, and setbacks of both avenues as well as the question that is on everyone’s mind…MONEY! This is a class that you won’t want to miss! I look forward to seeing some familiar faces as well as some new ones. See you Monday, December 11th at 7pm at the Sherwood Branch of the Hamilton Public Library.