Thursday, July 9, 2020

Set reasonable writing goals

Always remember to set reasonable goals for yourself. The keyword in that sentence is,
you guessed it: Reasonable!
Writing a two hundred and fifty to a three hundred page novel is going to take you more
than a week to write.

It is good to have goals, but make sure they are suitable for your life. If after looking at
your calendar you feel that you will be able to dedicate three hours a week to writing, set
your goals accordingly.

For some, writing every day is a reasonable goal. If this is a possibility for you, decide if
you are able to dedicate 30 minutes a day to writing your book or 3 hours a day. Always
remember that something is better than nothing. So, 20 minutes a day or every couple of
days is better than going 2 weeks without writing at all.

For others, every other day or twice a week may be attainable.
Sit down and take a few minutes to write out your daily schedule. Then, decide when you
can fit in time to write.

It is really that simple.
After you set your writing goals, strive to attain them. But, do not beat yourself up if
sometimes you do not reach the goals you have set for yourself. Just decide to start back
up tomorrow and try again.

To print off a free daily calendar that you can design yourself, click here

Fiction writing: Nature settings

COVI-19 Decluttering: Organizing your books

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Fiction writing: Nature settings

Think about the climate of where our story is going to be set. Do you have a clear image in your mind? Is it sweltering or frigid, do you see cactus or snow piled mountains? Is it raining cats and dogs or is the sun shining bright in the sky without a cloud in sight?

These facts are more important than you may think when writing your novel. Why? Because the reader has to be transformed to where your story is being told.

Before you begin describing the natural aspects of your setting, decide on the geographical location. By doing this, it will make the details of describing much easier.

If you have never been to the geographical location of your story, be sure you do plenty of research before you begin writing about it. You have to know enough about the climate and visuals in order to take the reader away to that place.

Questions to ask yourself about the climate of your story location:

  1. Is it hot or cold
  2. What will people wear (coats or bathing suits)
  3. Is everything green and lush or brown and barren
  4. Will there be high rises and apartments or white houses with picket fences
  5. Concrete patios or miles of grassy land
  6. Rain, snow, sunshine, tornadoes, hurricanes, avalanches 

I think I proposed enough questions to get you thinking about the natural details.

Tip: Be sure to transport your reader to the setting of your story.

Monday, June 29, 2020

COVID 19 decluttering: Organize your books

Are you sitting home bored out of your mind with nothing to do? Even if you're not, chances are you do have more time on your hands.

Let's make the most of being home by purging and organizing!

Let's talk about all those books we've accumulated over the past several years. Now is a perfect time to go through and let some go and get the rest organized. 

I ask for books for my birthday and any Holiday that encourages giving gifts; from anniversaries to Christmas,  books, books, books. So, I have a few! 

What books should I get rid of?

1. Cookbooks with difficult recipes
You know, the ones you bought, but NEVER use. Yes, those. Time to lighten the load.

2. Books you read and wouldn't rate with 4+ stars 
You know you won't read them again, so pass them on.

3. Old textbooks 
You've held onto these in the event you need to refer back to clarify what you once learned.  But, all they do is collect dust and take up space. Pass that learning forward.
  • You can donate these books to a local library or thrift store. 
  • You can also sell them on an online marketplace. 
  • Offer them to family and friends who need or want them.
Fun idea:
Organize a virtual book exchange! Use social media or your contact list to get a list of people who are interested in taking part. 
Post the books you have available and have them picked up from your front porch. Social distancing...check!

More from author/copy editor Deanna Martinez: 

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Wordy Writer: Workbook review

Wordy Writer sent me a copy of their workbook: Wordy Writer - The Bones of your Story.

This workbook was designed to help authors create an extensive outline for their book. It contains sheets such as Story and Structure Development, Character Chart, Character Development, Chapter Outlines, and Notes.

Basically, what it does is lead you through the entire writing process of your book, allowing you to keep track of all the important details. It even has a chapter entitled: Kill Your Characters!

The workbook is approximately 122 pages, is geared towards fiction writing, and is well thought out and put together. The cost, including tax, is $26.56 and worth every penny.

I am working on my fourth novel, and when I start preparing for number five, I will be using this workbook. I suggest using a new workbook for each book you write.

Please visit their website for more information:

More from Author Deanna Martinez:

Flannery O'Connor: How she impacted my life

Spreading cheer and encouragement during COVID-19

Easy book writing tips

Friday, May 22, 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
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 ear buds save lives?

New approach to writing a plot and creating an antagonist 

Friday, May 15, 2020

Flannery O'Conner: How she impacted my life...

I have this quote on my work desk!

The writer is only free when he can tell the reader to go jump in the lake. You want, of course, to get what you want to show across to him, but whether he likes it or not is no concern of the writer.
~ Flannery O’Connor

It has been years since I first laid my eyes on this life-changing quote. Flannery O’Connor was a writer and a darn good one in her time.
I was browsing online one-day several years ago, and read this gem. It jumped out at me, resonated within me and changed my life for the better immediately after I read it.
As writers, this is exactly our job. She nailed it. We are to write the story we have in our hearts…do what we are called to do. We are to write it the best we can. After that, it is not our concern. Of course, we want to write a best seller and in order for that to happen, people have to like what we wrote. But, this quote goes even deeper. We will always have people who do NOT like our stories, writing style, genre, etc. It is those people that this quote is referring to, (At least in my opinion it is.)
  •     Write your story
  •     Write the best you can
  •     Have it published
  •     Do not worry about the naysayers
  •     Create your own success and keep writing 

 More from Author Deanna Martinez:

 To the lady who handed me her dirty tissue

 Easy book writing tips

 How to stay accountable to writing


Saturday, April 4, 2020

Writing and Editing tips: Keeping your body comfortable

We are going to take a look at different equipment you can use as a writer and/or editor as well as ways to keep your body comfortable while you work.

Desktop Vs. Laptop

Benefits of a laptop:
You can work while you travel.
The downside of a laptop: 
They make work harder on the body. Because of the construction, the screen is too low while you type, which causes you to have to look down, and this causes extra stress on your neck and spine.

If you like to work from bed, I have an idea for you:
1. A wooden bed table
2. a sturdy chair pillow
These items will save your back and more bending forward to reach your laptop!
(See above photo)

Benefits of a desktop: 
You can make it ergonomically correct. Add a wrist rest, a footrest, a table to lift your monitor, and back support for your chair.
You can purchase 2 flat screen monitors. Having 2 monitors will benefit you when you are comparing two versions of a document, doing research for your work, and in many other instances.

The downside of a desktop: 
You have to sit in the same place every time you need to work.

General tip: Turn down the blue on your screen or purchase a pair of blue light glasses. This will protect your eyes and may help your eyes from getting tired.

More from Author Deanna Martinez: