Start A Story

Where do you get inspiration from?

How do you start a story?

I find my creative juices flow with a great opening line.

Below are some opening lines I have thought of.

Let’s hide it in here, no one has been in here for eight years.

Brandon Schmidt wanted to be popular in the worst way.

After five days of nonstop rain, the morning sun held the promise of a great day.

I’ve looked everywhere where is my guinea pig Penny?  

Feel free to comment back to me with some opening lines you have thought of or use one of my opening lines and write a short story.   If you do, I would love to hear it.

Thanks for reading this short blog and Happy Writing!

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A WRITER’S WEEK

Mondays are for writing. Sit down, write, write some more.

Tuesdays are for writing. Sit down, write, write some more.

Wednesdays are for … (you get it..)

Thursdays are for editing. Sit down, drink coffee and edit.

Fridays are for writing. See above.

Saturdays are for writing AND snacking on chocolate.

Sundays are for writing, reading, updating social media AND exercising off the chocolate you ate on Saturday.

With spring knocking on the door, here are some thought‑provoking questions. I hope they keep you motivated to reach your writing goals.

How many hours do you spend writing?

Where do you write?

Do you quit when you reach your daily word count?

How much time do you spend editing?

When do you edit?

How much time do you spend finding a market for your work?

How much time do you spend reading?

How is all of the above working for you?

Feel free to send me your answers I would love to hear from you regarding the above.

Happy writing!

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Query Organization

While we are all sure that the first agent or editor we query will fall in love with our writing and immediately sign us, the truth is, we may have unorganized file folders, notebooks, charts, post-its and other jotted down notes for queries we have made for our beloved writing.

What is the best way to manage those queries.  Recently a friend gave me a printout of an article that Writer’s Digest posted on January 25, 2017. I have attached a link.

http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/there-are-no-rules/track-pitches-and-queries

This is a small step to organize in the new year, but one I find very helpful.  You can tailor the sheets to your own needs.  The downloads are an efficient, quick way to organize your queries so you can get back to what you love most – WRITING.  Also great should you not receive an offer on your first attempt.  🙂

Thank you again Writer’s Digest-Tyler Moss!

 

 

 

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Memoir (FREE contest) “Dear Lucky Agent”

Below is a link from Writers Digest (such a helpful website and tool for writers) to a FREE contest “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest for writers of Memoir.  Contest deadline December 31, 2016.

http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/28th-free-dear-lucky-agent-contest-memoir

Judged by Agent Jennifer Wills @WillsWork4Books, Chuck Sambuchino

They are also currently doing a contest for writers of historical fiction.

Happy writing,

Carole

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WHERE TO PUBLISH?

You’ve spent countless lonely hours writing.

Taken numerous classes.

Revised and revisited.

Enlisted the help of critique partners.

Your polished manuscript is finally ready.

Where do you send it?  Should you be agented?  How do you gain an agent’s interest?  Should you self-publish?  How do you go about doing that?

Your mind spins with questions.

The industry of helping new writers become authors is a industry itself.

I am finding there are many knowledgeable professionals and books to guide you.

Below are a few of the ones I am researching for my manuscripts.

Agent Query – http://www.agentquery.com/

Writers Market – http://www.writersmarket.com/

Manuscript Wish List -this is also on Twitter under #MSWL – http://www.manuscriptwishlist.com/

Also, I recently came across this blog and it is wonderful – https://janefriedman.com/

Please feel free to comment me with your suggestions.

Happy writing!

 

 

 

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Inspiration

Today I will…

These three words are a part of my daily vocabulary.  I grew up in a family who made daily lists of things they needed to accomplish.  In recent years, I’ve noticed that I have passed this trait on to my children (perhaps a good quality to have?)

Where does inspiration and ideas for writing comes from?  Since I am a list maker, below is my list (not necessarily in order of significance):

1.  Family

2.  Friends

3.  Social media

4.  TV

5.  Environment/nature

6.  Online writing prompts

Since I can’t share my family and friends with you and I am sure you have enough of your own social media to keep you busy, above are a few pictures I have taken and below are several links to some of the online writing prompts that help inspire me to write.

Enjoy!

Writing prompt inspiration – –

The Writer’s Digest

Reader’s Digest

The First Line

On the Premises

I hope this post inspires you!

Where do you receive inspiration from?

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Synopsis

A brief summary, an outline of the plot of a book, play or movie.

What should be in a synopsis?  There are many answers to this, but I have learned that a successful synopsis must have certain key elements.

Exposition (setting, tone, characters and any other facts necessary to understand the story)

Dilemma (conflict)

Climax (turning point/high point of story)

Resolution (concludes the action)

If you cannot write a one or two page synopsis for your story, you need to go back and revisit it.

Below is a website which I found very helpful.  Thank you Writers Digest.

http://www.writersdigest.com/editors-picks/learn-how-to-write-a-synopsis-like-a-pro

Here is the synopsis I am working on for of one of my current cozy mysteries I am going to market as a series.

The conscientious calamity-prone cemetery assistant Melody Shore is back to steal our hearts.

At the Peaceful Rest Cemetery where she works she meets Bob Morrison who has come to make the funeral arrangements for his wife, Denise. Denise was the marketing director for the Greenville Bats, a local professional baseball team that her family owns and manages.

Melody finds out that the “Bats” are in need of a mascot and steps up to the plate deciding that this is the type of second job she needs to increase her income and social status.

After knocking out the rest of her competition in a tryout that no one expected, she is hired and quickly discovers that being a baseball mascot is not as glamourous as she thought.

She must juggle her cemetery position and her blossoming love interest with her detective boyfriend all the while learning her new job.

The costume she is required to wear with its rubber wings, oversized head and large big bird feet are a minor challenge. It is the staff and players she meets and befriends that put her in the right ballpark for murder.

In the end, Melody outplays the murderer and avoids being killed herself.

Hope this post inspires you.

Happy Writing!

 

 

 

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One Final Blast of Winter

As Mother Nature blasts the North East with one last blast of cold and snow reminding us all of nature’s power and quiet beauty I stay indoors and sit in front of my computer for hours on end trying to finish the list of resolutions that I made in the New Year before spring and the joy of being outside overtake my every thought.

One resolution I made this year was to finish and market my humorous cozy mystery.  This is a rewarding but daunting task and reminded me of the following quotes which I have heard (author unknown).

Success is no accident.  It is the result of hard work and loving what you do or learning to do.

Hard work pays off in the future.  Laziness pays off now.

Hunter

Everyone has a story.  Now go out and sell yours – Carole Lynn Jones

Because the premise of my blog is to help the beginning writer with tips I have learned and also encourage below is a list of several tips I can offer.

Finish your book before querying.

Write your query letter and synopsis.

The internet can be your friend for searching agents – manuscript wish list – (this is not a place to promote your story, simply a place for agents to list their wishes).

Search the type of book you are promoting before querying.  You do not want to waste an agent’s time who is not currently  accepting your genre.

Follow the submission guidelines.

Be professional.

Keep writing while you wait for your responses.

May everyone who reads my short blog this month find inspiration to complete your long overdue projects.  Back to work.., Happy Writing all!

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Logline / Tagline

Motivated by discussion and information gathered from the wonderful writers in my biweekly critique group I took upon myself the task of writing a logline and a tagline for my current manuscript (short story-mystery).  Below are some tips for what is needed to write a good (great) logline.  I gladly pass it along.

Logline vs. Tagline

Logline – one to two sentence description of a story – example of logline – A young man and woman from different social classes fall in love aboard a grand ship headed on a ill-fated journey at sea (Titanic)

Tagline – under ten words that evoke emotion about a story (used in the film industry as a marketing tool) – example of tagline – For three men the Civil War wasn’t hell. It was practice! (The Good, The Bad and The Ugly)

Tips –

  1. You have worked so hard on your manuscript now you need to condense it into one (or two) sentences.  Impossible right.  But if you can’t do this, you can’t pitch your story.  Also, if you can’t do this, it isn’t the logline, it is probably your story which needs work.
  2. The logline needs to provide the interesting elements of your story and make the reader want to read it.  If you can’t pitch your idea in one or two sentences people will lose interest.
  3. A logline must have the following – protagonist, conflict/their goal and stakes.
  4. Don’t use your character’s name (instead tell us something about your character-use adjectives)
  5. Loglines are like poetry – write, revise and get feedback.
  6. Avoid clichés.

My logline – A comedic calamity-filled cemetery assistant takes on the task of solely solving a deceased socialite’s jewelry theft putting herself in jeopardy of becoming the cemetery’s next internment.

My tagline – The right accessory can prevent murder.

I hope this post generates you to write your own loglines and I would love to hear them if you so wish to comment me back.

Happy Writing!

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Tis the Season

Everyone is busy rushing here and there.

All for a day that comes but once a year.

In a society consumed with competition instead of brotherly love.

Remember to stop and give thanks to the one above.

 

During this season, daily writing is worth it in the long run.

Even if it is next year before your manuscript is done.

 

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart – William Wordsworth

You are a better writer today than you were yesterday – unknown

 

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