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Are You Making These Mistakes?

April 11, 2018-Here are some excellent examples of mistakes that aspiring creative writers make! Which ones are you making?

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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,

LLB

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Cozy Romance…My Newest Guilty Pleasure!

February 27, 2018– I’m wondering if this happens to you; have you ever stuck to one specific genre for quite a long time when reading? Do you ever feel like you need a break? Lately (I mean for the past five years) I have been completely immersed in the psych/thriller/horror genre of books and I find myself needing something that will allow me to relax and recharge my psyche. It’s funny, because I get this way with movies too! Every now and then I need to throw in a night of Billy Madison or Tommy Boy to balance out the hours of Die Hard or Rocky. I know that none of these particular titles are ones that “make you think”, but sometimes I get sick of all action all the time. That’s why recently I’ve turned to something called “cozy romance.” Now, let me be the first to say that I am NOT by any means a fan of romantic fiction in any way, shape, or form, but there is something comforting about these wonderful books.

Picture this, it’s raining outside, there are two cats cuddled up at the end of your bed, and the only thing you have to do is spend the day relaxing and reading by the fireplace. It’s pure bliss, that’s what that is! That’s what reading a cozy romance feels like to me. They are a particular genre that entertains, but also doesn’t make you think too much, which is something we all need once in a while to just cleanse our literary palettes so-to-speak.

Definition of “cozy romance” according to the Huffington Post: Cozies are fun to read. There’s a formula to the cozies that work very well drawing readers back again and again. The amateurs in such stories are nearly always well educated, intuitive women. Books, especially in series form usually have the story line relate to the detective’s job or hobby. Murderers in cozy mysteries are generally intelligent, rational, articulate people, and murders are pretty much bloodless and neat. Violence and sex are low-key and supporting background characters bring comic relief to the story. Some cozy series are set during holidays such as Valentine Day or Christmas making them more intimate to the reader.

I sincerely hope you’ll check out these adorable little mysteries!

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