Monday, September 28, 2020

What is the first draft?

If you are reading this article, it means that you are a writer or want to become one.
Congratulations on following your writing dreams! So many people desire to write and never get around to actually doing it.

Let’s talk about the first draft of your book. What is the first draft? It is the original manuscript. You may be thinking… Now that I have written my book it is ready to be submitted to agents and publishers. Well…hold on just a minute. Before you click send, print out your pages and let them sit on your desk for a day or three. Yup…just let them sit there staring you in the face!

After a few days go back, begin to read your book. Have a red pen handy because there are going to be story, grammatical, and spelling changes that you are going to make.
After you read through your book, mark your changes, and then apply them to your computer document.
After this step is complete you have two choices:
  • Move forward with your submissions
  • Have someone else proofread it for you
If you are looking for a copy editor, please reach out to me!
In addition to being an author and blogger, I am a copy editor and social media manager for authors! 
To answer the question that I proposed at the beginning of this article…What is the first draft, it is just that, the FIRST draft, not the final copy.

More from Author Deanna Martinez:

Preparing your writing environment

Can earbuds save lives?

New approach to writing a plot and creating an antagonist 

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Funny Farm: Why do I love this movie?

Have you ever seen, Funny Farm? It stars Chevy Chase and Madolyn Smith and was released in 1988.

Basically, it is about a couple who moves to "the country" so that the husband can write a novel. They have a variety of strange events that occur and make them second guess their decision of moving from the city to the country. The move pushes them apart and then ultimately pulls them back together.

I said all this to say, that for some odd reason, this movie encourages me as a writer. I'm sure we all have certain music, movies, and books that encourage us to do what we do and this is my movie of encouragement.

One of my friends on Instagram proposed a question yesterday, "What songs do you listen to when you write?" To her question, I responded that I will often have, Funny Farm playing in the background, but I prefer to write in silence.

Now it is out...I'm apparently a quirky writer. But aren't we all?

You may be wondering right now... What is the purpose of this post? And to you I say... I have no idea!

Author organization tip: Writing down your ideas 

Christmas Organizing book 

Monday, August 10, 2020

Author Organization Tips: Writing Down Your Book Ideas

Writing down ideas, what is that? I know most of us rely on electronics to keep up with our ideas, schedules, contacts, basically our lives.

Call me old fashioned, but there is something about writing down ideas that help me stay organized. I always have a little notebook that I carry with me so that I can write down any ideas I have while I am out and about, pertaining to the book I am writing or project I am working on.
You never know when an idea will come to you. If you don’t have a notebook handy, by all means, make a note on your phone. But, be sure to transfer the info to your notebook later. Having all of your book information together in one place will benefit you in the long run. You can refer back to it or add on to it as needed.

I buy a new notebook and a colorful pen each time I start writing a new book. Anything I think of relating to that book goes in that notebook. As I stated, it helps me stay organized and keeps me from having to remember all the details. I don’t know about you, but my brain doesn’t always remember all the details! Some days it is all I can do to remember to wear socks that match!

Tips for writing down ideas and staying organized:

  • Purchase a notebook (colorful pen optional)
  • Carry the notebook with you
  • Keep all of your book information in one place
  • Keep a special notebook for each book you are writing

This is an article about writing down your book ideas, but as you can see, organization is also important for a writer. They go hand in hand.
Write down your ideas and stay organized!

Christmas organizing book 

Organizing your books

Book organizer: Wordy Writer

Monday, July 27, 2020

Interview with P.E. Gilbert: Paul's Fantasy Writings

I met P.E. Gilbert through Instagram. After chatting we decided we would like to interview one
another and publish the interviews on our blogs. Paul published my interview on his blog last week, and now it is my turn! Paul's Fantasy Writings: Interview with Author Deanna Martinez-Bey.

  1. Please tell us your name and a little bit about yourself...
My name is P.E. Gilbert, and I am a blogger, YouTuber, writing consultant, and the author to the fantasy novella, The Sultan’s Daughter.

I studied history at Birmingham University, before spending the next ten years writing a fantasy series (not The Sultan’s Daughter, as it happens). Nowadays, I give writing tips on my blog and on YouTube, plus interview authors and lend advice where I can. I do these things to help writers/authors write more engaging stories.

  1. Tell us about your book: Title, genre, page count, blurb
My book is called The Sultan’s Daughter. It is a fantasy novella, targeted for fantasy lovers and women. It is a short book of 121 pages and it is fast-paced and full of suspense.

The story is from the sole POV of Princess Nalini, the Sultan’s daughter, who must do everything she can to save her father’s kingdom, despite having two older brothers and several advisors around her who are supposedly more competent than her. The blurb is as follows:

Victory means life and furthering everything that her father has built. Defeat means death, destruction, and ruin.

The choices could not be starker for Princess Nalini after a curse is placed upon her family. Untrained for rule and war, she must adapt quickly. For who else can stop the armies of frightening fanaticism marching toward the capital if not the Sultan’s daughter?

  1. What is your writing inspiration?
In general, my desire to write stories comes from my love for great books and films. I write in order to give back to the industries that have given me so much joy since childhood.

More specifically for The Sultan’s Daughter, my inspirations come from history, fiction, and historical fiction. I got the idea to write the story after I read a biography on Saladin by Professor John Man in 2019, around the time (coincidentally) that the new Aladdin film came out. Yes, Princess Jasmine is an inspiration for Nalini, but I would not say that they are alike in personality at all.

Other inspirations for this book include my general knowledge of Ancient Egypt and the Middle East; the deaths of the three French kings Louis X, Philip V, and Charles IV in the early-14th century (all of whom were brothers and died heirless, which in turn started the One Hundred Year’s War with England), and Margaret Beaufort as depicted by Philippa Gregory in The Red Queen.

  1. Are there more books in the works?
Yes! I am planning the sequel to The Sultan’s Daughter as we speak. I do not have a title for it yet, and it will be a while before I start it (let alone finish it). But I intend to start writing it in the autumn, and I am excited to continue the story.

(I must say that I have been overwhelmed that people, who have read The Sultan’s Daughter, have asked me if there is going to be a sequel. It is wonderful to know that people enjoyed my story so much that they want to read more. That is a dream come true, honestly.)

  1. What are some tips you can provide for other writers as far as networking their books?
Yes, I have a few tips on this front, all of which I do on a regular basis. First, I would advise writers/authors to use social media platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, so that they can: a) regularly post content to show their expertise, and b) make connections and promote other people’s works. 

Second, write a blog and interview authors or other forms of content creators. This second point links into my third tip, as I urge authors to focus on getting promotions rather than sales for their books. The more promotion you can get, and the better name you can get for yourself, the more sales will come your way.

Fourth, if you want to go to the next level, start a YouTube channel or TikTok account. Video content will give you a greater profile online. And the greater your profile online, the more chance people will have of coming across your books, which can mean more sales. (I will be setting up a TikTok account very shortly in order to give myself a greater profile online.)

  1. Can you please share your contact information with us? (Please include social media links)
For sure. I am on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, plus I have a WordPress blog (Paul’s Fantasy Writings) and a website. Here are my links, so that you can view my content and/or contact me:

Lastly, I would like to say thank you, Deanna, for this opportunity. I really appreciate it and I wish you only success and joy going forwards.

It was truly my pleasure to work with Paul. He is kind, professional, talented, and knowledgeable. I look forward to working with him again in the future. 

Wordy Writer: Workbook Review 

 Flannery O'Conner: How she impacted my life

My interview with POC magazine

Friday, July 24, 2020

Christmas in July: Christmas Organizing Book

Are you enjoying all of the Christmas in July posts? I have been! Let me introduce you to a book I have written, it's called, Christmas, Get It Organized. I wrote it several years ago and just updated it on Amazon.

It is now available on Kindle or soft-cover. Both are super affordable!

Christmas, Get It Organized: Kindle 

Christmas, Get It Organized: Soft Cover 

Let me share a description of my book:
Do you find yourself dreading the Holiday season? Does the word Christmas make you cringe? Christmas…Get It Organized by Deanna Martinez provides easy steps to be ready for the Holiday without all the stress, crowds, and expenses.
Learn easy ways to stay organized, spend less, and have more time to spend with the people you love, doing the things you love.
Deanna will show you how to make lists, shop ahead of time, have parties, bake treats, create drinks, add new family traditions, and much more.
Gifts do not have to be things we buy. They can be things we make or time we can give.
Put Deanna’s organizing ideas into practice this year and find yourself laughing instead of crying this Christmas.
Simply click to purchase and download your copy of Christmas…Get It Organized, now!

Christmas in July: Tips for writers

Christmas in July: Christmas folders

Monday, July 20, 2020

Christmas in July tips for writers

Happy Christmas in July, authors! I have come up with a July to-do list for writers. Here you will see things that we can do now to prepare for the upcoming Holidays.

1. Start writing your Holiday e-books now. These can be fiction or non-fiction books that pertain to the Holidays. Create, edit, design them, and get them uploaded into KDP (or platform of your choice) to release in time for the Holidays. (I am a copy editor, so please reach out for your editing needs.)

2. Develop a Holiday themed blog, Facebook group, or website. By creating these now, you will have time to grow your following for when you start posting Holiday related posts. These sights will help you share the Holiday e-books you have for sale.

3. For freelance writers, start sending queries to magazines and websites. It is time to send in your Holiday themed articles and material.

Christmas in July: Christmas Folders

COVID-19 Decluttering: Organize your books

Wordy Writer Workbook: Great Christmas gift

Friday, July 17, 2020

Christmas in July: Christmas folders

It is that time of the year again...Christmas in July! This craft idea is perfect for writers because it requires research and we all love research, right? In all fairness, I do! It is one of my favorite parts of the writing process.

You can make the folders by yourself or with your children. I made mine with my daughter and bought all our supplies from The Dollar Tree. I may have spent $8 on our supplies, but you can get more elaborate with your folders if you want to.

  • Pocket Folder
  • Stickers
  • Old magazines
  • Scissors
  • Computer and printer, optional
  • Markers, optional

Fortunately, I have a collection of Holiday magazines, ranging from Good Housekeeping to Women's Day and then some.

First, we decorated our folders with a Christmas theme.
Then, we flipped through the pages of the magazines and clipped Christmas ideas. We clipped recipes, decorating ideas, gift ideas, and anything else we wanted to try out this Christmas.

If you don't have magazines, you can search for ideas online and print them out.

Then, add all of your clippings to your folder. It's that simple. 

Fiction writing: Character living space

Fiction writing: Nature settings