TIPS ON BECOMING A BETTER WRITER – Day 29

I have one day left to wrap up this NANOWRIMO writing challenge. I reached 55,739 words today. Tomorrow should be interesting on how I will end the story. I had two choices of endings and we’ll see how it goes tomorrow.

Today’s tip is:

  1. Research potential markets for your work. Now that your book is published, what’s next? The marketing of your book. Nowadays, even traditional authors have to do some marketing for their book which to me is insane. You might as well self-publish your book and get the royalty you deserve. Years ago, traditional authors just wrote. They didn’t do marketing. It’s the job of the literary agents and the publishers. Most authors dread marketing. They enjoy writing and write they must. But with the publishing industry changing, they have to learn to market their product too which is their book. You have to have a website, a facebook and twitter account and some other things to have an internet presence. It is hard work I agree. Writing today is a business and to be in business you have to do marketing.

My book recommendation today is The Gate House by Nelson DeMille.

The Gate House

If you read The Gold Coast by Nelson DeMille, you might want to read The Gate House. It is a continuation of John Sutter’s encounter with his former neighbor’s family, the mafia don. The Gate House will bring you back into the fabled North Shore of Long Island where my next novel will also take place. So stay tuned.

TIPS ON BECOMING A BETTER WRITER – DAY 27

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. I missed the old Thanksgiving dinners when I used to cook for my extended family. The last time I had them, I had 23 guests in my home. Those were fun times. Yesterday, we had plenty of food for just my husband, me and one of my sons. We have plenty of leftovers that I do not have to cook for at least four days. My other son was in California and could not make it this time of year. It was the first time, my kitchen was back to normal on Thanksgiving day by 5 PM. I was still tired from cooking but I was able to write after dinner and increased my total word count to 53,481 words.

The tip for today is:

  1. Edit, proofread and get critical feedback from someone you trust. You can only start editing after you’re done revising your manuscript. This involves checking grammar, usage, punctuation, spelling, adding and subtracting words and passages. Continue editing until you feel everything is in place. If necessary, you can go back and edit as many rounds of editing as you require. Keep your thesaurus handy. Don’t use the thesaurus in your computer. Sometimes, they are inaccurate and have few entries. When you find one or two errors only, then you can start proofreading but don’t hurry. Read slowly and make sure everything looks right. This may take two or three more rounds. When you think you have done enough, ask another person to proofread it. Another pair of eyes will see what you missed. Remember you can always go back and proofread it again even if you think the piece is finished.

My book recommendation for today is Mount Vernon Love Story: A Novel of George and Martha Washington. An out-of-print book by suspense writer, Mary Higgins Clark, this book was originally published in 1969 as Aspire to the Heavens and later reissued as Mount Vernon Love Story. I got my copy as an incentive to join the Mount Vernon Association. If you love history, this is a well-researched biographical account of our founding father, George Washington. It is a charming story and at times entertaining full of history, love and passion between George and Martha Washington.

The Mount Vernon Love Story

TIPS ON BECOMING A BETTER WRITER – DAY 26

Today being Thanksgiving Day, the tip today is Be Thankful. Here is a lovely prayer for your Thanksgiving meal.

Thanksgiving Prayer

Thanksgiving Blessing

 

Bountiful God,

You have blessed us in many ways,

In the beauty and richness of our land,

And in the freedom we enjoy.

You have given us even greater gifts

In our family who loves and cares for us

And in the grace which allows us to know and believe in you.

May we be grateful for all our blessings

Not just today, but every day.

Help us to turn our gratitude into action

By caring for those in need

And by working for a more just society.

Bless the wonderful meal we will enjoy today and

the merriment of those at table.

Be with all those we love who are not with us at this time.

We thank you Lord now and forever. Amen.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!!

From Rosalinda R Morgan, author of

The Iron Butterfly

&

BAHALA NA (Come What May)

TIPS ON BECOMING A BETTER WRITER – DAY 25

In between my cooking and cleaning the house preparing for Thanksgiving, I managed to add something to my manuscript. I was able to type in another 923 words. My new total is now 52,650.

The tip for today is:

  1. Revise or rewrite your manuscript. After you have reread your manuscript, it is time to rewrite it or revise it. Some authors can go through three, five or even ten revisions. My second book, “The Iron Butterfly” had gone through several revisions. New authors as well as established authors go through the process. No one published their book on the first draft.

My book recommendation for today is “I’ll be home for Christmas: The Spirit of Christmas During World War II” by the Library of Congress. I read this book a while back but with Christmas coming soon, it’s nice to get reminded of those men and women who bravely served during World War II. This book is a compilation of stories, events and pictures gathered by the Library of Congress from the diaries and correspondence of the greatest generation.

Ill be home for Christmas

 

TIPS ON BECOMING A BETTER WRITER – DAY 24

 

I made my goal officially. I validated my word count this morning at NANOWRIMO website and made it to 50,624 words and I got a winner certificate.

Print

My writing tip for today is:

  1. After putting some distance away for a while, you’re now ready to reread your manuscript but read it slowly and absorb everything you read. If something sounds or feels right, leave it alone. Anything that you are not comfortable with, make a note. I usually read a whole chapter and make my corrections after I finished the chapter. Otherwise, I lost my trend of thoughts. Some writers feel differently and make the correction after they read the whole manuscript. Do what you feel is more comfortable to you. I also have two copies of my manuscript and make corrections on just one of them. That way, I always have the original where I can refer to later if needed.

My book recommendation for today is The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly.

Winter Rose

This is one of my favorite books. It is the time period in England which I love most. It is 1900 and a well-bred lady fall in love with the most notorious London gangster while working as a doctor in the dangerous streets of East London. Brilliantly written, I could not put it down and when I finished, I went back and reread some more passages.

 

 

 

TIPS ON BECOMING A BETTER WRITER – DAY 23

Today I reached my goal. I made it just over 50,000 words. I have seven days left to the end of the challenge and I most likely add more to it. In the meantime, I am getting ready for Thanksgiving and I have a newsletter to write which has to come out no later than next Sunday. For now I’m just glad I made my goal.

The tip for today is :

  1. Finish the first draft and put it away for a while. It will give you a new perspective on what you have written. The last two years that I did the NANOWRIMO challenge, I put away my manuscript for a month. I did not look at it the whole month of December. Then in January, I reread the whole piece. I was amazed at some of the things I wanted to revise. You might not need a month but give it a rest for a while. Your brain needs a break too.

My book recommendation for today is Paris by Edward Rutherfurd.

This is the third book I recommended written by .Edward Rutherfurd. His books intertwined historical events with stories of multi-generational family living in that period of time. Fictional characters mingle with historical figures amidst the sights, sounds and events in the City of Lights.

Paris by Edward Rutherfurd

TIPS ON BECOMING A BETTER WRITER – DAY 22

The last two days were fantastic. I made it to 44,602 words last night. It was a good run. Then today, I’m done for the day. I put in more than 3,000 words. My finished figure is 47,855 words. I’m hoping to make it to 50,000 words tomorrow. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

The tip for today is:

  1. Familiarize yourself with general writing terms. There are a lot of commonly used words and phrases that pertain to writing, editing and publishing. All professions have their own words or terms that members of the professions use. Writers, editors and publishers are no exception. Example: active voice, denouement, ellipsis points, epiphany, foreshadowing, gerund, hyperbole, ibid, i.e., infinitive, Non sequitur, stet and a few others. Know what these terms mean. You don’t want to look like an amateur. When I was a CPA, I learned all the accounting terms and when I became a real estate agent, I learned all the real estate lingos. Same goes with being a writer. Learn your trade as they say.

My book recommendation for today is Teacher Man by Frank McCourt, a Pulitzer Prize winning author of Angela’s Ashes. Teacher Man is about teaching and how his thirty-year teaching experience shaped his career as a writer.

Teacher Man

TIPS ON BECOMING A BETTER WRITER – DAY 21

Last night, I crossed another threshold. I went beyond 40,000 words by another 1705 words. I did not know I’d reach this far. But just writing one page at a time, the pages accumulate and one day I’ll have a full manuscript for a long novel. I don’t even have to sit on my computer all day long. It’s better for me to take a break once in a while. I did today and treated myself to wo pairs of shoes.

21. The tip today is write one page at a time. You’ll be amazed how those pages add up and eventually those pages add up to a full manuscript. Just look at what happened to me. When I started on November 1, I did not even know where to begin and now I have accumulated 180 pages so far.

The book recommendation for today is The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder.

The author of this book had never been to Peru but he wrote this book brilliantly and it won a Pulitzer Prize. Since he never visited Peru, I’m sure when he started the book, he did not know where to begin but then he started one page at a time.

Bridge on San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder

 

 

TIPS ON BECOMING A BETTER WRITER – DAY 20

There are ten days left to the end of the NANOWRIMO challenge. Last night I made it to 39,193 words. Today, I did very well in spite of taking a break to take my husband to his eye doctor. The story seemed to flow more freely today. I’m on target to make it to 50,000 words before Thanksgiving. With luck I might end up with 60,000 words by the end of the month. We’ll see.

The tip for today is:

  1. Back up your novel as you go along. This is basically the first rule in computer. Back up especially if you are writing an important piece of article or manuscript. I have gotten into the habit of printing a hard copy of my manuscript. Every time I finish a chapter, I print a copy and put it in a folder. I also back up in an external drive. When I finish my novel, I also make a copy on a flash drive. So I am well covered. You don’t want to lose what you have written in case your computer crashes.

My book recommendation for today is “The Iron Butterfly” by Rosalinda Morgan. That’s yours truly. As I said before, I always back up my work and The Iron Butterfly is no exception. I have a hard copy of my manuscript. It is in a flash drive, in my computer with two titles, and in my E drive. An excerpt can be found on my website: www.rosalindasgarden.com. Check it out.

butterfly_front

 

TIPS ON BECOMING A BETTER WRITER – DAY 19

I’m moving right along. Last night, I made it to 37351 words. I’m getting closer to my goal. Today, the plot was getting more exciting and the words came out more easily. I was typing faster. I took a break this afternoon and went food shopping which took out 3 hours of my time. I went to Costco for one item and checked out with $144 of stuffs. Then I went to Publix next to buy Golden Blossom honey (it’s the only store that carries that brand of honey) and came out of the store with another $90 worth of grocery. Why is that? I can never stay with my list.

Anyway, the tip for today is:

  1. Write your book for your audience. Determine who are your audience before starting to write. Gear your language to them. Communicate in language and style that they understand. After you finish your book, communicate with them. Find the marketing strategy to reach out to them. It is the only way if you want to have your books sold.

My book recommendation for today is Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff. This book is geared to WWII enthusiasts and should be marketed to them.

Lost in Shangrila