Sunday, August 23, 2009

Looking over my writing goals..... for 2009

As autumn approaches, I have looked over my writing goals for 2009 and again I am falling short of what I had planned for myself.

  • My mission statement is the same... to inspire, comfort, educate, or encourage with words.

My vision statement is the same... to improve what I write and to continue to hone my skills with a focus on developing my freelance writing as a full time career.

My original goals in January were to get one article published, to gain continuous writing assignments ( I have but few and far between ), and to produce an e-book to sell on my websites and blogs ( lack of confidence creeping in again.. telling me I have nothing to offer that others would pay money to read ).

So now what.

Back to the drawing board... the goals are the same but what I am doing to achieve them must change. I am moved to action as I read how short I have fallen from attaining those dreams so I will gear up for the last 4 months of 2009 and get my backside in the chair and WRITE.

I do write daily but I am going to outline and focus that daily writing to meet the first goal I have for getting an article published in 2009.

I will query once a week or at least twice a month for the ideas that twirl around in my head.

And I am outlining e-book ideas, but due to my full time job, this will take a back seat.

What are you doing to promote yourself and your writing the last 4 months of 2009. Email me and let me know your plans, your progress, and your ideas for sticking to it. I will highlight you in a future post and just maybe you may win a little surprise.... Happy Writing. And Blessings to you this autumn season.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Young Adult fiction....What it takes to write YA

Young adult fiction is a popular genre and one of the most difficult to get right.

Young adults cannot be fooled by flowery words. They want to read what is real. They want to connect to the characters in a way that makes them know the author understands the perils of being a young adult.

The plot must be more complex than that of books for the younger reader and the story must involve real life issues that young adults care about or have experienced.

To write young adult fiction you must first read young adult fiction. You must know how young adults think, feel, and act.

Shifty by Author Lynn E. Hazen is a must read if you are thinking about writing for young adults. Ms. Hazen has done a fabulous job of getting into the heart of the character and finding what is good and what is real. She takes the reader right into the mind of the main character who is dealing with being abandoned and she makes you care. The author not only makes you care, but after reading this story, you may change how you feel and react to others in a similar situation.

Tips for writing for YA:

1. Read everything you can for young adults and start with SHIFTY

2. Make a list of topics you are interested in that would be of interest to YA readers

3. Begin character descriptions and find the character in your heart that you are the most passionate about.

4. Begin the research of publishers for Young Adult readers and start thinking about where your story would fit.

5. Work on plot, characters, setting, and theme of your YA story

6. Write, write, and write.

When you feel you have the first draft ready, then the revision and editing process begins. It is a long journey but a rewarding one. Take your time with each step and make certain your story is real and speaks to the young adult reader.

7. Query publishers when you have an outline and a theme

8. Join a writers group or critique group to help you with the process

9. Prepare your manuscript in a professional way, adhering to the guidelines of the publisher you have chosen.

10. Submit your writing and begin again.

It is a process, and it is important to enjoy it along the way and to stay passionate about the project. The passion will show through in your writing and make it more marketable to young adult readers.

Blessings on this writing journey you are about to take; You can do it. In the mean time, check out Ms. Hazen's website at:

Thursday, August 13, 2009

New Book by Suzanne Lieurance

  • Look for the new book by author Suzanne Lieurance. Her newest book, The
  • Lucky Baseball: My Story in a Japanese American Internment Camp, a
  • historical novel for middle grade readers, will be released by Enslow
  • Publishers next month.You will not be disappointed.
  • Suzanne is the director of our Children's Writers

Coaching Club as well as numerous other websites and courses.

Reading level: Ages 9-12

Library Binding: 160 pages
Publisher: Enslow Publishers (September 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0766033112
ISBN-13: 978-0766033115

Visit your local book store or go to to pre-order for easy shipment.

Check out for more information about all the courses and

clubs that Suzanne directs. You are bound to find one that fits your needs as a new writer.

Suzanne has an exceptional talent for both writing and mentoring new or experienced writers.

She can help you find your focus, investigate your potential as a freelance writer, and help you to

build your career. Check it out.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Where do you find your characters?

Dreaming up a new character may be one of the easy parts of the writing process because we writers have great imaginations. Most of us day dream for a better part of any given day.

To bring a character to the three dimensional person or animal the reader can care about is another story and for some of us, a little more difficult to do.

What you picture in your mind about the character you are writing about must come out on paper in words for the reader. Those words must affect the reader in some way, and you help to decide how you want the reader to feel by your choice of description with words.

Those words may be specific descriptions of hair, eyes, body type, or clothing but those words need to do more to bring your character to life.

Here are some other ways to bring pep and zing to your character and to make the reader love them or not.
  • Use action to show who your character is and what he or she cares about. If your character is walking a little elderly lady across the street it may endear him to the reader. On the other hand, if your character pushes the same lady in his haste to get through the crowd with no regard to who he bumps, the reader may not like it. Either way they will want to read on to find out what happens with this character if you choose your words well.

  • Dialog is another great way to make your characters realistic and to show who and what the character stands for. Dialog can hint at culture, setting, date/time of a scene, and any number of other things like the age of the character or the type of education, home life, or financial situation a character lives with.

  • Character names will bring realism and detail to a story. Readers will imagine their own ideas about a character just by associating the name of the character to who or what they know related to a similar name. The carefully chosen name can make or break the relationship between the story and the reader.

  • Emotions show much about your story and your characters. The reader must feel something while reading about your characters or they will not turn the page. The writer must use words that elicit raw emotion so the reader will care about what happens to the character. Emotion is weaved into the plot of the story by using words to create conflict and tension for your character.

New writers will learn how to use all of these tips to create the kind of story that grabs the reader, makes the reader care, and gives the reader no other choice but to buy the book and to keep reading. In the end, the goal is not only for the characters to grow and change throughout your story, but to move the reader into taking some kind of action for personal growth and change as well. The reader should always feel something for the effort of reading your words.

Now go create a character or two. And check back soon to meet one of my new characters. Can you guess her name?

Happy writing.

Monday, August 3, 2009

What is keeping you from reaching your writing goals.....

What is it that keeps you from reaching your writing goals?

Just look at this smiling baby and tell yourself that he needs to read what you want to write....he and a thousand other little tike's who will learn about their world by listening to and reading the written word.......So what is stopping you?

  • Colors, animals, feelings, shapes, rhyme, siblings, nature, love, death, life, water, sun, rain, wind, and the list goes on and on and on. Words that are written by writers like yourself will mold the next generation. So.......

Sit down and get those words on paper. No more excuses. Write, write, and keep writing. Your first work won't be pretty, but it will be a start. Look at it this way, you can't learn to edit and revise if you first don't get something written to edit and revise.

Tips for getting started.

  1. Start here: Jot down a few topics you are interested in.
  2. Draw lines from each topic and make a list of 5 words or phrases that could be associated with the topic and write them underneath.
  3. Stop right there: now get up and do something else letting those ideas you just put on paper twirl around in your head. When you have so many ideas twirling that you simply can't do anything else until you write them down begin.
  4. Set a timer for say, 15-30 minutes. Now write everything that comes to mind under one of the topics you have listed. You may find that you have so many ideas, that you must write about more than one idea on your list.
  5. Stop writing while you still have a few ideas. Make a note about where you want to go for your next writing session.

Now look, you have something on paper. You have a plan for where to start the next time you have a few moments of writing time. And you have met your first goal..... writing. Enjoy! There is no limit to where you can go from here.

Happy Writing.


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