Here is part two to my 30 tips in 30 days blog, if you read last weeks you will know I got up to number 15 so today I will start at…you guessed it…16. Hope you enjoy and hope it all helps.
Day 16 – Back up your files.
This is such a must do, I see so many people get upset in the writers forums and groups online because they hadn’t backed up their work and their computer has crashed or broke. It only takes a few minutes, use a USB stick to save your work and keep it separate from your computer just in case something were to ever happen to it, email your work to yourself so you can download if needed, save to the cloud so you can access your work anywhere and pri…nt it off and keep it in a folder at least if worst comes to the worst you have it in printed form you just have to write it back onto the computer but you won’t have to try and reimagine it all again. Time consuming yes and ink costs might make you cry but then at least you have it there if you need it.
#30tipsin30days #Backupthosefiles #Writersproblems #Thecloud
Day 17 – Use your senses.
I find certain smells, songs and even tastes can bring back certain memories which I thought I had long forgotten. These memories could be useful in your work and could be used to give a background story to a character. Using your own experiences can give you characters a realism that the readers can connect with.
Also using the senses in your work, describing smells, noises, tastes and things your characters touch can help the reader to visualise what it is you want to portray and helps them become more human.
#30tipsin30days #Senses #Touch #Smell #See #Hear #Taste
Day 18 – Video games.
I know, I know I shouldn’t be playing games I should be writing right! Well I actually find video games help me get into the mind set for writing, especially in certain genre’s. Personally I like to steal my husbands PlayStation for an evening and as I like writing in the ‘Zombie horror’ Genre games like ‘The Last of Us’ ‘Resident Evil’ and other Zombie apocalyptic games are brilliant for getting my brain to think in that style. A lot of games especially… the newer ones are practically like watching films, the animation and detail is so great its like you are really there experiencing it. Some also have fantastic storylines to go with it. So next time you need a bit of a muse why not try something new like playing a video game but remember, you are meant to be a writer too!!!!
#30tipsin30days #Thelastofus #Residentevil #Imagination
Day 19 – Magazine cut outs.
I love being able to visualise my characters and one way I do this is by getting magazines and cutting out the people I think most resemble my characters. I also keep a separate note book for each story I write, so with the cut out pictures of people I then stick them into the corresponding notebook. I also add character bio’s along side their profile picture, I state their age, height, build, eye colour, hair colour, mannerisms and just general things that I as the writer need to know but the reader generally might not need to know. Anything that helps you see your characters as real people will help in the long run.
#30tipsin30days #Characterprofiles #Magazines #Notebook
Day 20 – Research.
When writing your book, especially when writing about a subject you are not 100% sure about or an era in time you have not personally lived in, Research it.
Readers pick up on the small minor details and if your story does not go along side the language that should be used they might not read another one of your books or tell their friends to read it. I could be wrong of course your writing could be so fantastic that they don’t care but there will always be… that one person to point out your flaws.
Does your character need to use weird medical terms, do you need to know the law for your characters story to progress, would your character in a certain time period say or do things differently to the modern world we now live in? Answer yes to these and you need to do some research and a good place to start is ‘Google’. The internet provides many search engines to help you but I personally use Google, its so easy and gives you so many links to answers. Another place which can be long forgotten is the ‘Library’ they have hundreds of information books on hand, so why not sign up and spend some time in the hush of a world of books.
#30tipsin30days #Google #Worldofbooks #Librarytime
Day 21 – Creative writing courses.
If you need a bit of a boost or just want to get some advice and inspiration then why not try a creative writing course. The teachers are knowledgeable about that subject and can advise you on things you don’t quite understand. They get you to take part in writing exercises to expand your imagination. I found one I went to made us write on the spot to show us we could write something no matter how awful when we needed to.
You also get to meet others that are interested in the same subject. Why not give it a go.
#30tipsin30days #Creativewriting #Courses #Imagination
Day 22 – Notebooks.
My moto ‘Take a notebook and pen where ever you go’ not the most catchy but one any writer should go by as you never know when idea’s will strike. It could be when your out walking, it could be when having coffee with friends, it could be just as your climbing into bed or singing in the shower but as long as you have a notebook and a pen nearby you can record them down so you don’t forget. Another trick I have done when I haven’t had my notebook with me, is to write what I’m thinking down in a text message and sending it back to myself, that way its on my phone and hopefully I won’t lose it.
#30tipsin30days #Notebook #Pen #Ideasintheshower
Day 23 – Pamper yourself.
I once read somewhere that if you feel good, your writing will be good. Don’t know how true that really is for others as I know a lot of writers who write their best stuff when they are in a depressed state but for me it is true, if I feel good I do write better.
Personally for me if I am up and dressed like I’m going to work, with my hair and make up done so I look and feel fresh, my nails are done and look good then I feel ready to work on my writing. I suppose in a way I feel more professional and I want this to be my profession. So why not treat yourself to a new hair cut, get your nails done or some retail therapy and I’m speaking to men and women on this one, everyone needs to feel good.
#30tipsin30days #Pampertime #Therapyforawriter
Day 24 – Talk to and get to know your characters.
Might sound like crazy people talk but the characters you create can almost become friends, in some cases I prefer my characters to most people (No offence to any friends reading this) 😉 So why not talk to them and see what they have to say about their story (No I’m not crazy…Honest) but if you listen to them they can tell you important things you need to know for example how to move your story along, what events need to t…ake place for your story to progress, what dialogue needs to go into certain scenes. Plus I think it helps especially if you are writing a character who isn’t like you and maybe is out of your comfort zone to get into their mind to see how they would behave and react to things.
When I was younger I always had an invisible friend, who was with me for around a year when I was around 6 years old. I imagine my characters I bit like how I imagined them. It helps me and it might help you, if not at least you won’t be lonely which writers are prone to, sitting behind that desk all day.
#30tipsin30days #Characterlife #Imaginaryfriends #Writersarelonelycreatures
Day 25 – Make time to write.
I hear a lot of people say, ‘Oh I don’t have time to write, how do you do it?’ I have to admit I’m lucky I’m a stay at home mum so when my hubby was at work before his accident, my kids are at school, nursery or napping I write but for others I know life can be busy and hectic. Friends need to be seen, family need some attention, the kids need to be fed and watered, the dogs need to be walked, the husband or wife wants some quality time together a…s you have both been busy, your job is time consuming…So many things can take up the time you want to write but if you plan you can write.
I have met writers who get up a whole hour earlier than needed in the morning so they can write before rushing off to work. I know others who write on the commute or like me once the kids are in bed I write until my eyes can take no more. I have been known to stay up until the very early hours writing my ideas down. Personally I just write when I can, I have no fixed time table but I always try to make time, even if it is just an hour while my daughter is in Ballet class, while all the other mums gossip I’m tapping away on my laptop but its a whole hours peace, I cannot pass that opportunity.
#30tipsin30days #Ballet #Peace #Timetowrite
Day 26 – Get a friend or family member to proof read.
I know first hand how hard it is to find someone interested in helping out and proofreading your work, especially since most family and friends will be busy in their own lives or just not be interested and then paying for someone is expensive and if your funds like mine are always (Nil) then it can be frustrating but if you have someone who will do it, even just a chapter at a time then do it.
I didn’t have that when I wro…te mine and tried to proof my own work and I missed mistakes. Although to me it just makes me more human people are cruel when it comes to reviews and if they find mistakes they will tell you. A new set of eyes can see things your eyes have missed or have got used to. If like me you don’t have that then I say read it through as many times as your brain can handle. Read it on your computer screen first as you should pick up most errors then print it out as a paper copy as I see different mistakes and read my work differently when its on paper. Then read it again.
#30tipsin30days #Readyourwork #Brainache #Proofreading #Authorproblems
Day 27 – The Sims.
As you can tell by now I am like a big kid, I love video games and am quite a geek but another good way to envision your character is by using the life simulation game ‘The Sims’. I have so much fun with this game, I make my characters, create their home towns and play out their stories. On The Sims the people can have their own minds and wonder off and do different things but sometimes this has helped me change a story for the better or mainly just a bit o…f fun. You can give your Sims character traits so I pick the ones that are most like my characters and watch them roll, especially fun if you have a neurotic, hot headed or evil character.
And even if you write Romance, Horror or Fantasy you can still have fun as there are so many add on’s now to go with them, I write Zombie stories and love watching a Zombie apocalypse erupt over my Sim’s town but you can have Vampires, Fairies and even Aliens…All Fun!!!
#30tipsin30days #TheSims #Zombies #Vampires #Characterfun
Day 28 – Edit, Edit, Edit…And Edit again.
Editing for some (Well most) is a tedious task and a nightmare. You have your manuscript in your hand and you want to jump the gun and send it off to a Traditional publisher or Click the publish button or Amazon BUT you need it to be as perfect as you can make it and to do that you need to edit that like a boss.
I made the mistake on my first book of not editing enough and when I read it back now I see so many mistakes but the good …thing about Amazon is I can create a second edition of my book get rid of the first edition and change what needs to be changed.
Now I have written more I find that I have become better and more accustomed to editing, I still miss mistakes after all I am only human but my layout is more professional, my style is smoother for reading and I am finding out you don’t need to keep everything in there that you write.
I personally go through my editing stage three times, the first time I read it all through the laptop, then I print it off onto paper and read through and mark all things I want to change with a red or in my case PINK pen, then I go through it a third time reading it and changing all that needs to be changed from the pink pen. By the end of it my brain feels like Jelly and doesn’t want to read it anymore but it has to be done. But keep going and Edit, Edit and Edit.
You can of course pay for someone to edit for you but this can cost a lot of money and people work out the price based on your word count so if like me you have words in the region of 100,000 plus you could be in for a costly time. But never fear your brain wrote it so it can edit it too.
#30tipsin30days #Editlikeaboss #Writersnightmare #Pink
Day 29 – Don’t be fooled.
A big word of advice is don’t be fooled into helping other writers too much, most writers like you are trying to get noticed and I learnt the hard way that they will use you to do things for them but they will not return the favour. I made a deal with a few authors where we said we would read and review each others work, I kept my side of the deal and reviewed theirs on Amazon and on my blog page for them but they never reviewed mine for me in return…. I have met a couple who have done interviews for me on their blogs and I have interviewed them on my blog and it has worked out fine but for the most part it doesn’t work out that way.
Since becoming a self published writer I have also had many friends, family and just random people ask me to help them too but I now will only offer to help if they have done something for me. Might sound selfish but most of them haven’t bothered with helping me by reviewing or coming to author events I’m at. I’m not saying everyone is the same but this is my personally experience but I have heard other writers state the same has happened to them. Focus on you and your work not anyone else’s. This is your dream so live it.
#30tipsin30days #Dreams #Writersarenotalwaysnice #Dontbefooled #Reviewsarehardtocomeby #Indieauthorproblems
Day 30 – Copyright.
Finally my last bit of advice in my 30tipsin30days posts is…Make sure you copyright (c) your work. If you open any book before the story starts there is a copyright page stating that the work cannot be copied in any way, the best thing is to do the same. Not copy one word for word but write your own in a similar way so it is in a way protected. It still happens, people’s works get copied (Fingers crossed it never happens to me or you) but at least that l…ittle bit can help to protect it and it also dates it as you must put the publishing date so if anyone copies it after that date in a court of law its going to help. I also email copies of my work back to myself as its dated, not as great to stand up in court of law but all the evidence you have that the work is yours the better. So get researching and write that page before you send it off to be printed and published.
Thank you to everyone who has read my #30tipsin30days I hope it helps even if its only one person out there. These are just things that have helped me or that I wish I had known before Self Publishing mine. You can always check out my blog as I try to add anything else I learn that might help onto it, on WordPress, the link to my site is on my Facebook author page. #Indieauthorlife #Indieauthorproblems #Indieauthortips #Indieauthormountainstoclimb #Thankyou