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Things you learn at a writers’ conference

Yesterday I attended a writers’ conference hosted by Bayou Writers’ Group. The four speakers that presented were amazing. Not only in their presentations, but in their attitudes and personalities. It was a joy to see them interact with so many writers – from aspiring to published. Their presentations satisfied every writer that attended. It was my pleasure to attend this conference and learn from these women.

What I learned at BWG Writers’ Conference:

Johnnie Bernard – Developmental and Content Editing

You think you know all about editing? Let me tell you, Johnnie is a mastermind when it comes to this topic. What stuck out in my mind the most was her analogy of using the sitcom some of us remember (showing my age again). What do you think of when you remember Leave it to Beaver? More so, how does it apply to writing?

  • Landmarks – Just like the memorable landmarks of Mayfield, your story needs to have landmarks readers can identify with.
  • Strong Supporting Cast – Incorporate an Eddie Haskell into your story. Not only will he/she bring lots of laughter, but will resonate authenticity with your readers.
  • Teachable Moments – Beaver always had a life lesson intertwined in those thirty minutes. Make sure your story brings a lesson your readers can learn from.

Elizabeth Ludwig – Researching Historical Facts for Fiction

Elizabeth presented on the importance of historical facts. Your genre readers are looking for a great story, but keep in mind that some of them are also interested in history. What this means for an author is that you must research facts and portray them correctly in your story.

  • Locate Social Etiquette books for the time period you write.
  • It is okay for your character not to know all the social rules, but there must be repurcussions. This lets the reader know that the author knows the social rules.
  • Cliches are okay to use if they are appropriate for the time period of your story.
  • Colleges and universities are great resources for checking historical facts.
  • If at all possible, visit the location of the setting of your book.

S.M. Schmitz – Becoming Visible in an Invisible Marketing World

Every author wants their work to be seen by readers. S.M. has the knowledge and experience to show authors how to accomplish this feat. She walked us through Launching a New Book and Online Platforms. There was something for writers in every step of their journey.

  • Before launching a book, you need to understand Amazon Ranking. (see S.M.’s website for more info.)
  • Authors need an online presence through websites, newsletters, and social media.
  • Plan – Plan – Plan – Make a plan for each day of the month to learn something about marketing your book. (listen to podcasts or read books; research ads)
  • Send newsletters consistently, and keep the content fresh, brief, and relevant to your books.

Juliette Cross – Building a Realistic Fantasy World in Your Fiction Novel

Juliette touched on what is needed to bring your reader a believable and memorable story world. Not only did she present, but she worked with the writers through various writing prompts that pertained to her topics. The readings from the participants at the writers’ conference were amazing!

  • Sensual – The story must appeal to the five senses; evoke mood/emotion; and show a unique perspective of nature and surroundings.
  • Realistic Fiction / Fantasy Element – Have the story grounded in the familiar; embed realism in mythology, history, and storytelling.
  • Emotional Characterization – Engaging dialogue should reflect characters’ personalities; internal monologue adds depth and humor to your story; know the way your character walks, talks, eats, etc.
  • Take a journal with you into nature. Sit and feel your surroundings. Write through your emotions and senses.

Following the writers’ conference, these speakers joined twenty other authors for an author signing (Pelican Tales). It was a fabulous day full of learning, meeting new people, and mingling with authors and readers. Check out each of these authors / speakers. They offer a lot more than what they had time to present at the conference.

Till next time,

Love, hugs, and kisses – Taylor

Pelican Tales

Writers’ Conference – Taylor Anne, Juliette Cross, Elizabeth Ludwig, S.M. Schmitz, Johnnie Bernhard

Professionals needed to help with writing

Writers’ Expertise – The next step

You’ve read Introductory Acts and What Writer’s Need. Next step is Writers’ Expertise. It is a joint effort from several professionals to put together a final project.

 

Below are a few tips to keep in mind when you get to this stage.

  • Websites are not mandatory, but they are beneficial.
  • Your editor will become your best pal.
  • Publishers – research what avenue you want to pursue.
    • Traditional
    • Small Press
    • Indie
  • Cover art that pops.
  • Formatting needs to be neat and professional.
  • Branding lets readers identify with who you are.
  • Promoting your image with the author world.
  • Marketing your books to readers.

Websites, social media, editors, publishers, cover artists, formatters, etc. This is a beginning list of professional services you need to get familiar with. You can do some of these tasks yourself. Make a list of your skills and work from there. Everything else, you will need to hire out. Search the internet, ask for referrals, make contacts on social media to find someone that understands your vision. Before making a commitment to someone, talk or chat with them so there is an understanding of what you are looking for. And take recommendations. My indie book cover artist recommended the formatter to me. The connection worked knowing they already had an established relationship in the book world.

I hope these tips help you. Over the next several weeks, I will put together a Quickie Sheet to offer you. I am here to share my experience with you so your journey can move along smoothly. If you have any questions, please contact me via email taylor@tayloranne.net

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Till next time – Taylor

Seven steps to writing

Initiatives – Introductory acts or steps. Once you’ve decided on your reason for writing (see last week’s post) you need to take the initiative to get it rolling. There are many steps needed in the beginning of your journey, however, this week I’m focusing on just a few of those initial acts. They are geared to keep you on track and on fire. Below is a list of seven steps to writing your way to your goal.

No one except you can make your writing dreams a reality. Get in the right frame of mind and keep pushing forward. Remember, it’s totally up to you to make writing work for you.

Writers’ Initiatives – Your beginning

Seven steps to writing:

  • Have a deep desire to write your best book.
  • Keep a positive attitude in order to achieve your goals.
  • Define your personalized creative space. (Spare room, kitchen table, coffee shop)
  • Learn a basic knowledge of the craft.
  • Enlist a writing buddy to toss ideas around with.
  • Seek the support of family and friends.
  • Gain the confidence to go forth with your plans.

Take the initiative to advance your writing.

Next week I will discuss Writers’ Needs, followed by Writers’ Expertise the following week. Each step focuses on a different part of the journey, however, they all work together. In the end, you will have the basic knowledge to get started, push through, and end up with a great product. At the end of this blog series, I will have a special download offer for you. Follow this blog for updates.

Find me on Facebook for more writing tips on Writers’ Initiatives, Needs, & Expertise (W.I.N.E.).

Till next time,

Taylor

What is your reason to write?

What is your reason to write? Your why? Maybe it’s your life dream to become a stay-at-home author making a full-time income. Maybe you treat it as a hobby. Writing is an escape from daily life as well as a stress reliever. Or maybe it is your passion. Dig deep into yourself and pinpoint where you are going with your writing.

Creating fictional stories is my way of escaping and relaxing. I wrap my head around my characters’ lives and experience what they experience. Feel their pain, struggles, tears, laughter, joy, and love. At the end of my stories there is always a Happily Ever After. So if my world gets dark, I rely on my characters to pull me out of that funk.

Writing is my passion, my reason to write. Through that passion, I create romance books where readers are lost in a fictional world for a few hours. They can throw their worries aside for a while and walk a different journey through my characters. If one person finds their escape, then I have succeeded.

My writing expedition has also led me down the path of empowering other authors. I enjoy sharing my experiences in order to make someone else’s journey a little easier. Through blogs, Facebook posts, videos, and books, I hope to help someone find their way to their writing dream.

There are many reasons for venturing down the author road. None are wrong. You just have to find the right reason to write that fits you. Find out your why for writing and you will be on your way. Whatever your reason, embrace it!

Next week I am beginning a series of blogs focusing on Writers’ Initiatives, Needs, and Expertise. (yes, that translates to W.I.N.E. – you know I can’t resist the correlation.) This will include what you need to get started, your needs during your journey, and how to tie it all up nice, neatly, and expertly.

How to stay up to date:

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(W.I.N.E.) Writers’ Initiatives, Needs, and Expertise

She dreamed. She achieved.

Are you an author or other small business owner needing help with blogs, About Me pages, or website page content?  As an author myself, I know that the written word is not everyone’s strong point. Not sure if your information flows? Does it draw your prospective client? Grammar and spelling have you stumped? Or do you just want more information on the writing world? I can help you with that!

Are you a reader who has questions about an author’s life? What is their schedule like? Where do they find time to write? The list is endless as to what a reader wants to know about their favorite author. Get to know authors as your friends. We all share something in common. Let’s find out what that is.

From personal experience, I know that authors are always learning, growing, and needing help with one task or another. Or sometimes they simply have a question to ask. Or there is an idea running rampant in their head and they want input – will that make a good book / scene; is that something a person (character) would actually do or say; how do I get that idea on paper? Maybe you just need a little positive encouragement. Whatever your needs, I can help you with that!

In the next months I will be bringing you (authors and readers) information you can connect with. It may be a video or a post informing you of an important step in your author journey. It may be an inside look at how I created a scene, or where my inspiration came from. Journey with me and find your own encouragement and inspiration.

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Til next time,

Love, hugs, and kisses – Taylor