|Texas, here we come!|
Since my brain is still in recovery mode after last month’s trip to San Antonio, I thought I’d use today’s post to share some of the more interesting tidbits I gleaned. Two of the early workshops I attended were about productivity (hmmm . . . ).
“Writing Faster, Writing Better,” Cindi Myers.
- Faster writing means more cohesive writing. You don’t waste time going back to refresh your memory about what you’ve already written.
- Use rituals to get you into the frame of mind to write.
- When you finish for the day, make notes about where you want the story to go next.
- Nix bad habits like surfing the Internet or constantly checking email.
|Myra at the Literacy Book Signing|
“The Slow Writer’s Guide to Making a Living,” Courtney Milan.
- “Slow” equals less than one new release every 90 days!
- Visibility is crucial. Even if you don’t have a new release, create a visibility event every 90 days (e.g., free novella, reduced ebook price, giveaway, etc.) to drive sales on your other books.
- The page at the end of your book is the most important for nudging readers to purchase your other titles and/or find out about your next book.
|Sock display at the Harlequin party|
“Your Books Have Taken Off! Now What?”, Marie Force.
- Separate writing and family finances. Track expenses, keep receipts.
- Have a professional email address that uses your author name.
- A mailing list is a must!
- Your website is your “storefront.” Have it set up so you can manage the details yourself.
- Be professional on social media. Avoid taking strong stands on controversial issues.
- Incorporation is usually advisable only after you’re earning a sustainable 6-figure annual income.
- Learn to say NO and outsource when you can!
|Missy and Janet at the Harlequin party|
“Writing Great Characters: The Good, the Bad, the Believable,” Susan Elizabeth Phillips.
- What draws you in? Recognizable emotions, character growth, characters aren’t too perfect, characters are passionate about something.
- What turns you off? Characters who are whiney (without good reason), stupid characters, martyrs, selfish characters.
- Character archetypes are the foundation. Development comes from building on this base.
- Backstory should be an action scene if at all possible.
- Show emotion through body language or movement of objects without using words like “sensed,” “felt,” or “thought.”
|Debby with Mary Curry at the Harlequin party|
General Session with Cindy Ratzlaff
- You, the author, are the brand, NOT your books.
- On your Facebook page, the main graphic is your “billboard.” Use it effectively.
- Twitter users are comfortable with Facebook “language,” while Facebook users don’t always feel the same about Twitter “language.” Better to feed your Facebook posts into Twitter than the other way around.
- Photos, graphics, and videos generate better social media responses than straight text.
- The goal of social media is real conversations.
|Missy, Tina, Mary, Myra, Mary Curry, & Debby at the RITAs|
This is just the tip of the iceberg (apologies for the weak cliché) of what I brought home from RWA. Does anything in these lists strike you as a new insight or something you need to incorporate in your own writing? If you attended RWA, do you have other bits of advice or information you’d like to share?
Join the conversation and include the words ENTER ME in your comment if you’d like the chance to win an autographed copy or e-book edition of my award-winning novel When the Clouds Roll By. I’m so excited the book was also recently named a finalist for the Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award!
Annemarie Kendall is overjoyed when the armistice is signed and the Great War comes to an end. Her fiancé, Lieutenant Gilbert Ballard, is coming home, and though he is wounded, she is excited to start their life together. But when he arrives, her dreams are dashed when she learns Gilbert is suffering from headaches, depression, and an addiction to pain killers. This is not the man she had planned to marry.
After serving in the trenches, Army Chaplain Samuel Vickary is barely holding onto his faith. Putting up a brave front as he ministers to the injured soldiers at the hospital in Hot Springs, Arkansas, he befriends Gilbert and eventually falls for Annemarie. While Annemarie tries to sort out her confused feelings about the two men in her life, she witnesses firsthand the bitterness and hurt they both hold within. Whom will she choose? Will she have the courage to follow her heart and become the woman God intended her to be? As the world emerges from the shadow of war, Annemarie clings to her faith as she wonders if her future holds the hope, happiness, and love for which she so desperately longs.