Writing Tips, Games and Prizes!

Who Doesn’t Like a Party?

Ok, granted most writers are introverts, we tend to shy away from parties or hide in a corner and hope no one talks to us. I’ve become a little more outgoing over the years but I still prefer quiet over noise. Unless, of course, I’m taking notes for a party scene in my next novel!

Invitation to a Launch Party

Fear not, this invitation is for an online party and you don’t have to talk to anyone in person or virtually, only in comments and only if you want to. Kirstie, my co-author, and I want to share our excitement with all of you on the release of our new workbook for fiction authors.

There are almost 200 pages of writing tips, information, brainstorming prompts, character building graphics, mapping graphs and tips for creating a new world, plus posters to encourage you along the way, publishing tips, marketing strategies and launch ideas. Then we go through the promotional steps you can take to grow your following, branding yourself as an author and successfully marketing your books.

The workbook fits regular copy-size pages so it’s easy to take along. So if you’d love a place to collect all your creative thoughts, plot your scenes and have it all handy in one place, this will be a great workbook for you!

I hope you can join us for the Facebook launch of THE NOVEL AUTHOR’S WORKBOOK!

 

the-novel-author's-workbook-launch

Tips, Games and Prizes!

We’ll be hosting four hours of fun with writing tips, games and prizes from 2pm – 6pm, Ontario Eastern time. And there’ll be lots of chances for extroverts to interact and launch ‘Congratulations’ balloons (I just love seeing those float up on my screen!).  Add yourself to the guest list!

See you on Facebook!

Lynne

 

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How to Boost Your Writing Career with Short Stories

An excellent way to break into the writing realm, or boost your already established writing career, is to submit a short piece of work to an anthology. They usually consist of short stories, poems and nonfiction ideas. It gives you the chance to work with an editor and get valuable feedback on your writing skills. Plus, you’ll meet other authors, personally or virtually, and maybe make new friends.

Find 2-3 writing groups who publish collections of work and join the groups. They’ll likely have an annual or bi-annual call for submissions for a new book.

Earlier this year I sent off five submissions altogether and was excited to have two of my pieces chosen. I write Christian Speculative Fiction and Christian Fantasy stories, so both anthologies are from Christian groups.

Anthologies make great gifts for all ages. I’m delighted to share with you the ones I”m in this year —

Christmas – Stories and More

Christmas Stories and More
An anthology of Christmas stories, poems and more…

 

Christmas with Hot Apple Cider

Christmas with Hot Apple Cider
Stories from the Season of Giving and Receiving

Til next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image.

Lynne

5 Easy Ways to Create Income From Writing

Income From Writing
How Do I Create An Income From Writing?

  

Do you ever wonder if any author who isn’t famous ever makes a decent income from writing?

I was wondering this after two years of little in the way of sales from my first book. I did eventually realize if I could just write more, that would increase my income. But who’s got time to write more?

Here’s how I did it – I took what I’d already written on my social media and made it into a book!

Seriously. That’s what I did. All my blogs about writing, my posts about my life, my tweets of writing tips and coaching, my pins about my interests, all became tidbits to expand and form into a book! It was a lot of fun, and I’m using these methods to write more books. So, I wanted to let you know how to use what you’ve already written and get started with that income too. Still with me but wondering how the heck I did that?

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Here’s How I Used These 5 Simple Ways to Create Income From Writing 

  • From Blog To BookThe Novel Author’s Workbook I created an Etsy downloadable 99-page workbook from blogs I’d written over the course of a year on how to write fiction, as I was doing the research. It takes the author from the beginning premise and outline of a novel, through to publishing and marketing.
  • From Pin To Print/Nonfiction  Hosting a Shire Party is a simple ebook about a cosplay party I had. I wrote about creating easy costumes, food, and games, as I pinned the photos from the party.
  • From Tweet To Tutorial Your Write Voice For His Kingdom is a course I wrote from tweets about my workshop notes as a Christian Life Coach and writer’s coach. I coach students through the decision process of becoming a writer and how God has equipped them to write for His purpose.
  • From Post To Published – Life at White Rose Shire is an ebook in-progress of a collection of devotionals which I’ll be posting on my blog under a sub-heading and later publishing as a Kindle devotional book.
  • From Muse To MemoirRaising Benjamin Frog – A Mother’s Journey With Her Autistic Son is a print book from notes I wrote originally for my earlier blog posts on Autism. It chronicles my son’s journey from birth to age 29, and his success as an author.

And that’s how I used 5 simple ways to create income from writing– from ebooks, print books, and tutorials.

A simple way to get to that 50,000 word count for NaNoWriMo!

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If this is something you may be interested in doing, I’ve explained all the social media methods in my business school at  White Rose Writers School.

(The TWEET TO TUTORIAL and MUSE TO MEMOIR courses will be open for registration at White Rose Writers School soon.)

 SIGN UP  

to get news on all the new courses as well as exclusive cheatsheets, writing tips, resources, and other insider goodies!

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Another Way to Create Income From Writing

I’m still working on the ‘full’ part of my income but here’s a colleague who’s grown a full-time income and has permitted me to add her blog link for you. Because she’s published by a royalty publisher, she brings a different perspective.

Ann-Margret Hovsepian has a full-time income from her writing and engagements. She shares her success tips on her blog ‘You Asked Me’:

https://annhovsepian.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/you-asked-me-5/

 

I hope you found something useful here. Let me know.

Til next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image.

-Lynne

Resources

Devotionals

White Rose Writers on Etsy

Middle Earth Party on Pinterest

Collier Christian Writing Academy

White Rose Writers School

 

Happy Valentines/Whatever Day

I wish all of you a very happy day today, be it Valentines Day, Love Day or Tuesday. I don’t for one moment profess to be an expert at any of the above (well, Tuesday I could handle, I guess), so I’m going to hand you over to the experts:

What Is Love?

For the Christ followers out there, here’re a few scripture verses from 1 Corinthians:  (not only for weddings!)

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a New International Version (NIV)

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails.

Just a recap; this was written by Paul to the church at Corinth and is for all believers to remind them that Christ taught us to love one another. It’s a beautiful passage but it refers to the love of all people, not just romantic love. However, I still think it goes well with a couple starting a life together, don’t you?

 

For The Lovers

I’ve met this amazing speaker in person and had the privilege of taking a few of her classes at a writer’s conference. She’s a straight-talking Christian woman who doesn’t mince words. So if you’re looking for that little something extra today, well here’s Sheila’s award-winning book.

The Good Girls Guide To Great Sex book

http://tolovehonorandvacuum.com/
The Good Girl’s Guide To Great Sex

 

The Single Life

And, if you’re single and you’re wondering where that leaves you, here’s an honest post by a single guy on how he feels about being single in a church full of mostly couples.

The Single Christian blog post

https://benjaminfrog.wordpress.com/about/
Benjamin T. Collier/Author

 

Autistic Love 

If you landed on my blog looking for articles on Autism I have a super blog for you. Ben speaks about growing up on the autism spectrum and, yes -love in the autistic world.

Autistic Love blog post

 

So there you are, dear friends. I hope I found something for everyone. May the Lord bless you today and always.

‘Til next time, know you are loved by the One who created you.

Lynne

Writing Fantasy || Character Interview

Good Morning, readers, and welcome to our blog on Interviewing Characters. Today I’m with Colin Wade from Singularity.

#CharacterInterview
Lynne: Colin – first, let me say “happy birthday!”
Colin: (Laughs) Thanks. It was quite an accomplishment for me.

Lynne: I understand you’re a pilot for Deep-Sight Space Exploration. How long have you been working for D.S.S.E.?

Colin: Not very long. I mean, I’ve been with them for a long time, in training. And I’ve done some odd jobs here and there but this is my first time doing anything this… big.

Lynne: Yes, I heard your current mission is rather ambitious. Can you explain the goal?

Colin: The mission is to study a singularity. The central point of a black hole. Research into black holes is nothing new, but this is the first time we’ve ever attempted anything this close to one. The D.S.S.E. seems to think we’ve got the technology in place to study it safely but in greater detail than we ever have before. The data we get back from this one mission should match or even surpass what would normally have taken us decades with the previous tech. It’s a good time to be in astrophysics.

Lynne: How is it going?

Colin: Slow. (Laughs) So far it’s been surprisingly difficult to find viable black holes. But it’s probably just the regions we’ve been exploring. Ang seems to think it’s just a matter of time before the perfect one shows itself.

Lynne: Ang?

Colin: Oh, sorry. My onboard computer – the Artificial Neuron Generator for Universal Studies. “Angus” sounds too formal, though, so I just took to calling him “Ang”. He doesn’t seem to mind.

Lynne: I see. I hear this is your first time as captain.

Colin: It’s my first time on official duty as a captain. I mean I’ve had training. I’ve done the tests. But actually sitting in the chair on a live mission is a completely different feeling.

Lynne: Do you find space to be a lonely place?

Colin: It’s certainly different. I don’t mind isolation, necessarily, but space is different from simply finding a quiet room or spending time alone in the woods. To have literally no other living being around for incalculable miles is a feeling hard to describe. Ang keeps me company, though. For an AI he’s not bad to talk to. Plus he plays music for me.

Lynne: Oh, really? What kind of music do you listen to?

Colin: It changes. Ang’s gotten into the habit of picking songs based on my mood. I like a lot of oldies by Sarah McLachlan and Elton John. Lately, Ang’s been playing mostly “Take Me Home” by Phil Collins. And of course, David Bowie has some good ones for my particular career choice.

Lynne: I LOVE Bowie! And yes, I suppose he does have some fitting songs. What made you choose space exploration as a career?

Colin: I never really asked myself that. But if I think about it I guess there’s a lot of reasons. The biggest attraction was probably that it’s quiet. Not that I don’t like people. I like them in small quantities. A little bit at a time, or a few people at a time. But I do my best work on my own, in a quiet room, with all of space to look at. Compared to people, astrophysics is easy.

Lynne: Do you miss home?

Colin: Oh yes. Way more than I thought I would. But they did warn me that isolation can do that.

Lynne: Is there anything you’d like to say to any friends or family back at home?

Colin: Oh geez. Well, the first thing would be to thank everyone for the razor. It’s been working like a charm. I’ll give a shout out to my mom and dad and my sis. I’m sorry I couldn’t be there on my birthday to see everyone, but duty calls. We’ll do a barbeque at mom and dad’s when I get back. I’ve been practicing. I feel like I’m forgetting some people, but whoever you are, just assume that I miss you too. I’ll see you all as soon as I get back, and thanks for all the well wishes. Ang, do you want to say anything? (Brief silence) Really? Ang just says hello. He’s being unsocial.

Lynne: Well thank you so much for doing this interview, Colin. It’s been a pleasure talking with you.

Colin: Oh, the pleasure’s been all mine. It’s been great to hear another voice.

 

Well, reader, that was an interesting interview. I couldn’t imagine being alone in space for months at a time. Although listening to Bowie and staring at the stars sounds very peaceful.

Which of your characters would you interview? Why did you choose that character? What would you ask them?

Resources:

You can read more about Colin Wade and his extraordinary space mission in Singularity by Benjamin T. Collier.

Singularity by Benjamin T. Collier
Plot twists in every chapter!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read my other blogs on Character Development:

Writing Fantasy || Characters 1 – Races

Writing Fantasy || Characters 2 – Names

Writing Fantasy || Characters 3 – Occupations

Writing Fantasy || Characters 4 – Personality

 

Until next time, I hope you are blessed,

Lynne

Guest Post by Sally Meadows

Today I’m very happy to introduce you all to a fellow author, Sally Meadows. It’s an honour to share some of her story with you.

Sally Meadows Author Headshot

 

Sally Meadows is a two-time national award nominated Christian singer/songwriter, author, and speaker from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Sally is guest blogging today via a question-and-answer session to tell us a little bit about her creative journey as well as her children’s picture book The Two Trees (2015), about a boy on the autism spectrum.

 

Here’s a big question to kick us off: What is your Kingdom purpose?

 

Wow, that is a big question, and one worthy of each of us to consider! First and foremost, this life has certainly been an interesting journey for me! It seems that my Kingdom purpose has shifted as often as my career has changed. (I’ve been a scientific editor, children’s entertainer, teacher, university outreach educator, and engineering technical editor.) But if I can identify one common ministry thread it would have to be that I have a heart for those who are often overlooked or undervalued by society: children (especially gifted and/or differently abled), differently abled young adults, Aboriginal youth, and immigrants. I am a strong believer in helping those in these underserved demographics discover and grow in their gifts to reach their full potential.

Since I left the corporate world in 2013 to work full time on my writing, music, and speaking ministry, my Kingdom purpose has focussed on encouraging people of all ages (with a special interest in women 40 and up) to passionately pursue God’s call on their lives. I would like my own life to be a testimony as to how God can do amazing things—He has a special purpose and plan for each one of us—by giving my life fully over to Him. My blog, “Butterfly’d: Unfurling Glory in An (Extra)Ordinary Life”, is all about inspiring others to unfurl God’s glory in their own lives.

 

What is a typical week like for you?

 

As an author, speaker, and musician (sometimes all at once!) I am involved in widely diverse projects, so I don’t really have a typical week; it really depends on what’s going on at any given time of year and can be seasonally related. April is Autism Awareness Month and is one of the peak times for me to travel to schools around the province doing author readings of my children’s book The Two Trees. At this particular time, I am also working on a new children’s book manuscript as well as a couple of inspirational short stories for adults. Finally, I have a new partnership with a fellow singer/songwriter and we are already in the studio recording our first single! Never a dull moment here!

 

Tell us about your book The Two Trees; what motivated you to write it?

Thetwotreescover

The Two Trees is the story of two brothers: Jaxon, who is the younger brother and narrates the story, and Syd, who is on the autism spectrum. The story shares in narrative form the challenges families that include a child on the autism spectrum face on a daily basis. Its primary purpose is to raise autism awareness while giving a voice to siblings, whose needs may often be overlooked. My initial motivation to write the book was to help parents identify characteristics of being on the autism spectrum that may be masked by giftedness (such as we see in the character Syd). The book’s purpose has grown from there; it is now used across the country in classrooms and clinical practices, and by autism specialists, social workers, counsellors, universities, and more as a resource to open up discussions and educate. As for motivation, I have family members who are on the spectrum, and as a former teacher, have taught children with autism who have widely variable abilities. So I have seen first-hand the challenges—and successes—of families that include a child on the autism spectrum.

One thing I have done lately is to donate books (The Two Trees) to two autism organizations offering for them to receive 100% of the profits. Also, from now until the end of August (at least), $5 from every The Two Trees book sold on my website will go to various autism organizations. (I wanted to give back because they were so supportive during the launch of the book.)

 

What is your The Two Trees presentation like?

 

I start with a reading of the book (about 8 minutes long), have a brief discussion about specific topics including autism, bullying, and the importance of being a good friend (5-10 minutes depending on the audience), then the kids have about 40 minutes to do hands-on activities themed to the book.  These activities are keyed to things that appear in the book including dinosaurs, rocks and minerals, trees, bullying versus being a good friend, and more. The Two Trees was written for ages 5-9 but the presentation is certainly suitable for families and the general public. I have done presentations at schools, libraries, museums, and autism events. I am grateful that I (and the venues) receive funding from the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild (SWG) to do these presentations, although organizations can also book me outright. For details about my presentation, please go to: http://sallymeadows.com/speaking.

 

Can you do a presentation outside of your province?

 

Absolutely! I travel across Canada for various events, so if you are interested in having me come and speak at your school, autism event, or other venue, I would be happy to let you know if/when I will be in your area. Although SWG funding is not available for out-of-province venues, I would be happy to discuss terms for a visit.

 

Your website indicates that your book The Two Trees can be used for fundraising. Can you tell me about that?

 

This is of primary interest to autism organizations, but really any group that has a vested interest in raising autism awareness (i.e. an elementary school) can take part in this. Basically, I will provide The Two Trees to your organization at wholesale cost and you can resell them at a profit. Here is the link for more information: http://sallymeadows.com/fundraising.

 

Where can we learn more about/contact you?

Website: http://sallymeadows.com

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/SallyMeadowsMusic

Facebook Page for The Two Trees: https://www.facebook.com/thetwotrees

Email: sally@sallymeadows.com

Twitter: @SallyMeadows

Phone: 1-306-229-7757

 

Thank you so much, Lynne, for the opportunity to share about my book The Two Trees during this Autism Awareness month!

I’m very happy to have you visit with me and my readers today, Sally. May God bless you in your work as you inspire us to live out our purpose and passions. Sally can also be found on the ChristianAuthors‘ bookstore website, where we both promote our work.    Lynne

Writing Fantasy || How Not to Compromise Your Faith

Writing Fantasy || How Not to Compromise Your Faith

How do we as Christ followers write fantasy without compromising our faith? If we introduce a fantasy realm with a different belief system than our own are we setting the reader up to follow a different path of faith? Can we create a new religion without selling out our own?

Church
Keeping Your Faith Real

7 Things To Keep In Mind When Writing Fantasy As A Christian

 

  • Before you write anything and before you begin each day – pray. Pray for God’s guidance for each new chapter, each new topic and the whole book. You are writing the book, your name will be on the cover and you will receive accolades for a fantastic fantasy novel, but ultimately God is the one who called you to write it and He is your divine co-author who presented all those amazing ideas for you to write.

A good place to start your day is at Kimberley Payne’s blog.

  • What’s your message? Ask yourself if your story really says what you want it to say to the reader. Stay focused on the main goal. “What are you willing to compromise? What will you commit to and honour in your life? Where will you take a stand?” – Kim Gowdy in Freedom Fighters and Truth Tellers, (published by Author Academy, 2015)
  • Are you portraying Christ’s character or glamorizing evil? You will need villains but try not to make them ‘cool’ in case readers desire to emulate them.
  • Make your villains true villains. They need to believe their actions are justified but their history isn’t an excuse for their actions. Choosing to do evil is still a choice.
  • If you’re writing a redemptive story – keep the villain’s past life clearly separate from their life as a new believer. You want your story to show the dramatic change Christ brings.
  • Don’t write any faith into your story – either your own faith or anyone else’s when you write fantasy. Maybe add traditions or rites instead, things not similar to our world. Remember Christ came for human kind because we are created in His image – Elves are not. If you want Elves to be redeemed you’re looking at allegorical fantasy (paralleling Christian truths). It can be quite tricky to write so I suggest you read a lot of allegorical works by famous authors before you attempt this. I’ve listed some below.
  • If you’re writing allegorically it would be really beneficial to ask a Christian allegorical writer you trust to critique your work. If you belong to a Christian writers’ group or your best friend is a pastor, maybe you can read a passage once in a while that you feel you need a critique on. Writing allegorically requires a deeper sense of your message so you may also want to consider writing a few fantasy books to get the feel of that genre before tackling the allegory part.

 

Authors Who Do Christian Fantasy Well

 

C.S. Lewis

Ted Dekker

Benjamin T. Collier

Rachel Starr Thomson

 

Not sure fantasy is the right genre for you? Take my 22-page mini-course to find Your Write Voice for His Kingdom. The course has worksheets and coaching tips for writers of all genres.

Is God asking you to write for Him?
Writing for God

Until next time –

Lynne