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My Freedom Flame

Motivating Writers Worldwide

Tag: writing (page 1 of 19)

Four Exciting Ways to Find Writing Inspiration

 

Exhausted from work? Too tired to carry on and see another day? Well, you’re in luck because I’m going to give you four tips that will help you find writing inspiration.

Kind of cool, right?

The fact is you, yes you, can find inspiration just about anywhere, if you know where to look. We’re going to search deep inside ourselves for such inspiration, such as the search for that initial motivation to write.

What was it that caused the motivation in the first place?

That’s what we’re looking for right here, right now.

So, let’s search for that long-term inspiration today that will light a fire in you.

 

Music

Music does strange things to us. It takes us back to another place, another time, back to a group of people, a time when we may’ve felt elated, depressed, inspired.

The reason I placed music so high is the fact it’s associated with the other three little-known ways listed below.

We embark on a journey when we listen to music.

When I hear, say, New Miserable Experience or Congratulations, I’m Sorry albums from Gin Blossoms, I’m catapulted back to Wintersville, Ohio, the town I grew up.

But I have more memories than just an awesome childhood.

I spent a summer working out at the local track with a great friend before we parted ways. It was truly one of the best times of my life, if not the best days of my life.

And yes, remember that creative nonfiction piece I was telling you about in a previous post?

Yep, it’s really a memoir that speaks of my early days working as a personal trainer, all the way to my massive breakup with the profession after becoming disheartened by it, to the great comeback that’s being set up right now.

 

Places

I revealed a huge hint regarding places, by associating them with music.

But think about it. Where were you when you were first inspired to write?

Why did this particular place spark the creative juices?

Know what’s funny?

The place you might be thinking of might not even be a real place.

Maybe mom and dad read you a story about Neverland when you were young and you immediately were inspired to write your own work. Your own Neverland.

Or your own version of Hogwarts? Narnia?

Did you take a vacation to Scandinavia and were immediately inspired by the beautiful scenic landscape?

Where were you when you were initially inspired to write?

Go back to that place, even if it’s a virtual tour. If it was a novel, read it again. I guarantee you’ll find that initial fire inside you once more.

 

People

Again, taken from the first way of inspiration.

This is especially true for those of you who write nonfiction.

Who inspired you to write and what kind of plot?

Are you still friends with them?

Or have you gone your separate ways?

Really think about this.

They might have a lot to do with the plot of your work, or perhaps you’re like me and tend to base every single character in your work on people you’ve met, worked, and were friends with over the past few years.

Why did they inspire you to hit the keyboard?

What kind of relationship did you have with them that you just had to write?

You will find a lot of answers and perhaps a lot of inspiration.

For me and the creative nonfiction piece I’m working on it was the gym staff, my old client base, my workout buddies, including the one I mentioned earlier.

I did base a lot of characters in Lord of Columbia on them, but the (sometimes) wild memories I shared with these people, I knew someday a novel would be written. There are too many stories to tell in the Tales from the Gym Office.

I could probably write a three-book box set, to be honest, and still have stories left over.

How my boss and I were never fired for the things that went on in our offices I’ll never know. And the colorful people.

You get the gist of it.

 

Time Periods

Finally, time periods come last because it sums up the previous three.

If you read the first three closely, you probably found a little pattern.

Music takes you to a time period.

Places take you to a time period.

People take you to a time period.

All written works occur in a time period, and again the first three can relate to fiction. Maybe you listen to fantasy-based music as I do and it takes you to a place like Neverland? I don’t think I have to explain the cast and characters.

I drew most of my inspiration for Lord of Columbia from Harry Potter, as it’s not even a secret these days, and the series is what I continually reverted back to.

I listened to music that reminded me of Hogwarts, mainly symphonic, pagan, and power metal, with composers like Thomas Bergersen and even some Disney songs scattered in there.

I’m lucky to have grown up around a landscape that is Hogwartian in nature, with bounding hills that eventually turn mountainous, endless forest, and few urban areas so the sky lights up on those clear nights.

Again, you should see what I’m talking about now.

 

If You’re Feeling Down

Go back to these four cornerstones.

Play some music, as it’ll always help, no matter what. I love to pair it with one of my two daily workouts.

Go to places that first inspired you. I don’t have to go far. I can sit in the parking lot of an abandoned grocery store, park my car, sit on top the hood on a spring, summer, or autumn night, gaze to the west, and watch the sun set behind the white water tower, which serves as the gateway to the bounding countryside.

If I pair it with listening to music, it automatically brings back the people, my favorite people, the workout partner whom I spent the whole summer of 2014 with, wondering what she’s doing now, and when she’s coming back.

Aha, see?!

You know where those lyrics came from, right?

Bam, it just took me back to the time period.

As crazy as this post sounds, I insist this works, and you’ll be glad you undertook it.

Thanks for reading.

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Six Ways to Make Money Online Writing

I covered a few ways in earlier posts to make money online writing, but today I’m providing a list that you can use at your disposal to make money online as a writer.

First and foremost, don’t quit the dreaded day job that you hate just yet or within the next year. My list isn’t composed of miracle work, nor should it be used as a get-rich-quick scheme.

Instead, you have a little hub toward profit generation as a writer as long as you:

1) Are patient with yourself.

2) Realize the need to treat writing like a job.

In other words, there are no three clicks to instant cash or anything like that, but if you want to read those articles, feel free but I can guarantee that you’re going to get scammed and still be looking for the nonexistent magical formula this time next year.

So why not get a head start?

How can you generate online income as a writer?

Let’s find out.

Publish Fiction

Listen, Amazon is going to give a self-published author 70% royalties if their book is priced at $2.99 or higher.

In other words, say if you sell 27 books a day at $2.99, you just made a little over $20,000 in an entire year at 70%. Sell 27 at $4.99? $34,000, and a living income in some areas in America.

But again, there’s always that catch, because selling 27 books per day requires an uphill battle with advertisement and book promotion.

So get ready to make a few investments along the way if you really want to succeed at this.

The clear upside is if you turn this into a business and your published works into a book series, you’re clicking.

Publish Nonfiction

Perhaps you prefer to write nonfiction or creative nonfiction.

Well, the same concept applies.

If you’re a hybrid author, congratulations. You just made some money off yet another cash flow.

But again, you have to work on your projects long after you publish them. I can’t stress how important sound investments are, so don’t quit that day job you hate just yet, but I can assure you if you make the right investments, you will very soon.

Just imagine the looks on your boss’s and co-workers’ faces when you walk out that day making an income doing what you love.

Start a Blog and Monetize It

Starting a blog and monetizing it has yielded fantastic results since a writer can utilize multiple income streams.

By the way, your co-workers and maybe even that boss you just fired wants in on your secrets.

Fantastic.

You can publish an e-book to a blog and charge for digital downloads.

Fantastic, right?

You can also make money from Google ads, and Google AdSense will reward you for clicks.

Find that niche of yours. That passion, and go the freaking distance by creating relevant content to your blog and monetizing it with ads.

Again, you’re going to have to work hard at making this blog visible. Google won’t trust new sites, and each site has to prove its worth by providing high-quality information, or information that just stays on topic and within a site’s niche.

But once you find something you’re good at, what you’re passionate about, why not blog about it?

Even if you don’t like writing, start a blog. All you’re doing is communicating a point per post. The point in this post is to show you ways to make money online as a writer.

Anything can become a blog. There are relationship blogs, fitness blogs, sports blogs, you name it. I came across one blog today where the author’s niche was tractor trailers.

Anything is possible here.

Affiliate Marketing

Why stop at just monetization via Google AdSense when it comes to blogging?

Heck, you need to have more than just Google AdSense if you want to succeed and capture as much income as you can.

Why not sign up for affiliate marketing?

Sites like Amazon and eBay both have affiliate programs and are easy to get into.

On your niche blog, you can review products, both good and bad, create affiliate links, and bam, people can buy through your site.

Review products systemically, and Google will award you for your affiliate efforts. Don’t always provide affiliate links to every article, but when you see a product you feel needs reviewed, by all means review it.

In time, you will have enough traffic wishing to click through and get their hands on the product you’re featuring.

Easy, right?

Well, in time yes, but in the short-term, as in the first twelve to eighteen months, you’re responsible for an uphill battle that involves generating traffic.

On any blog you start, it’ll be an early battle, so whatever you do, don’t walk out of your dreaded day job.

The key is to persevere and not get discouraged. Building blogs will take time, and making a living off strictly affiliate marketing takes even more time.

Guest Blog

While guest blogging doesn’t always pay, it will grant you exposure and usually bloggers you guest post on will give you a chance to get your website into your author bio.

So, you’re either going to get paid or you’re going to get exposure, or both.

Either way, blogs that you can guest post on that generate a lot of traffic will likely send readers your way if they like your work.

So why not guest blog?

It’s something I need to get into doing more often, not once every six months. The publicity you can and will attain via guest blogging will lead to more web traffic and if you do have AdSenese or affiliate products on your site, you’ll make a few bucks in the process.

Freelance Write

Some of us can wear many hats and take on writing projects we’ve never seen before. If this sounds like you, why not freelance write?

A freelance writer can have a niche or two, but they can also have a broad spectrum from which to work.

If you can write about motocross and turn around to write about kitchenware, freelancing is for you. It’s not unusual for the freelance writer to write about fly fishing in one article and submit one later on about life in Manhattan.

Freelancers love writing about different topics and get bored with repetition.

If this describes you, try freelancing.

While the bigger jobs won’t come for a bit, win over small gigs and build yourself a resume.

Conclusion

Okay, we just covered six strategies on how to make money writing.

If any jumped out at you, start researching on different ways to make money in these six sub-fields in greater depth.

And yes, you can even undertake multiple writing niches at once and always feel free to take on all six.

Success in the matter is completely up to you and like I said, these strategies all require one thing: Work.

You need to work to earn your writer stripes, and if you despise your day job, it’s time to change your thought process and make ends meet.

If Your Writing Dreams Don’t Scare You

They aren’t big enough. It’s taken from the old quote from Muhammad Ali, “If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.” Now, insert the word ‘writing dreams’ and this statement appeals to writers.

It appeals to everyone.

This article doesn’t just go with writing, it goes with life, but for the sake of my audience, we’re relating this to writing.

While success in writing is a long, long uphill battle filled with more starts, stops, sputters, and stalls than the Cleveland Browns’ offense from 1999 to 2017, the view of the mountaintop is available in all four directions. Eight if you count northwest, northeast, southwest, and southeast.

Given a fact that can be proven simply by looking at the mountain, the climb to the top is frightening for anyone wishing to experience such a thrill and sense of accomplishment when they reach the peak.

The dangers of avalanches, wind chills, snowstorms, and crevasses are enough to motivate most of the global population to turn their back and lodge while someone else accomplishes such a feat.

But why do you want to stand on the sidelines and wait while the starting quarterback wins the Super Bowl?

Why do you want to sit and watch others go through hell to accomplish what they may at the end of the journey?

Do you know what happens with those people who sit and wait? Those who choose to do nothing due to the required step from their own comfort zone?

If you see a correlation between those who say they’re going to do this, and say they’re going to accomplish that but never take that step forward, or take that step forward before taking three steps back and throwing in the towel, and negativity in this world, your guess is 100% correct.

In fact, many of these people root against those who are trying and succeeding, while laughing at those trying and struggling.

The negativity is rampant.

But, these people are scared and while it’s good that they have dreams that are big enough to scare them, the fact they turn and hide while pouting and blaming everyone and society for their mishaps will create a permanent barrier between their dreams and themselves.

If only they can break that barrier.

These people are on the right track simply because their dreams are big but they continually veer off track.
How can you as a writer stay on track?

Let me give you a rundown.

 

Another Ali Quote

“I hated every minute of training, but I said… ‘don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”

Many of us writers who are starting off or aspiring writers are likely working a job that we hate every second of. If I were lecturing you all as a group I’d ask for a show of hands.

And I’m no different. I have aspirations not only to write, but to return to my old stomping grounds in the fitness industry, but that day is a little ways off. And yes, I hate not every minute but every single second of my DDJ.

But it doesn’t just pay the bills; it gives me money to invest in my books, book promotion, converting the back room in my apartment into office space, and even getting ahead on student loan repayments.

Just as for Ali, training didn’t just make him a great boxer; it made him a champion.

So yes, I’ll suffer now to live the rest of my life as a known novelist, even if known just enough to eek out a full-time income on it.

 

But, Why Stop at One Dream?

Hey, many of the writers who follow this blog are novelists, but there are so many other avenues and cash flows that can go into your writing that it’s foolish to stop at just one funnel.

Now, if you want to make a living solely off just writing books, you can, but bear in mind you’ll be churning books every two months, or six new works a year. That takes a lot of dedication and repetition. If that’s what you want, then have at it.

For the rest of us, let’s look at a few more options.

I have four blogs, three of which are monetized and making me a small income already while a fourth blog is in its infancy.

Why four?

Each pertain to different niches. As explained in previous posts on My Freedom Flame, this blog is a niche on writing. I might down-niche to something later on, perhaps put it toward writing fantasy novels or whatever the case may be, but for the time being, it’s a writing niche.

Get Pro Football Apparel is my second blog and it discusses football apparel while also pertaining to NFL team news with apparel-based links, such as seasonal reviews for each team, etc. In the future, it’s likely I’ll down-niche to simply apparel but Google’s search engines are weird with affiliate sites providing too many affiliate links.

Lord of Columbia Series is the blog I consider a cousin or sometimes a sister to this blog. As you can see on the sidebar here, you know what it pertains to. Also, if you click on the bold-facing link provided, you’ll find a similar color scheme between this blog and Lord of Columbia Series.

And my latest and final blog for the time being is my Wealthy Affiliate affiliated blog, Ditch Corporate America, where I’ll provide a few details here and there.

As you can see, I’m looking at not one but a few different ways to make money on my writing while also making minimal startup investments, which is why blogs are popular. If blogging is for you, look back into my archives where you’ll find more blogging-based articles that will show you how to be successful in your blogging career.

 

Multiple Pen Names, Anyone?

You can also brand yourself in different ways as an author. For instance, say you only want to make a living writing novels but you write both fiction and nonfiction. This is a great way to create multiple brands for yourself.

I’ve always stated I’d use the name T.C. Matthews if and when I do start writing nonfiction or even creative nonfiction. Sure, if you’d like to create a blog about your works, I advise you create separate ones, complete with full SEO and keyword research tools, which is what makes Wealthy Affiliate so convenient.

If you wanted to write three genres, why not create separate brands and hence, separate cash flows?

The list goes on and on, but the advantage multi-genre authors have is the fact they will create a new cash flow with every single work they produce that is in a different genre.

 

The Freelancer

Maybe you love to write novels and maybe you even blog, but did you know that there’s an untapped goldmine in freelance writing?

There are also blogs that are dedicated to freelance, such as The Write Life and Freedom With Writing. They’re reputable sites that will point you to blogs that pay for writing, while also providing freelance job boards where you can find work.

Freelance writing isn’t for everyone and it’s for those who are willing to research and write about a variety of topics and take on new challenges. For those who dislike routine workdays, freelance may be a good option to go.

I prefer blogging, but then again, blogging isn’t for everyone, especially if you’re an impatient person looking for immediate results. Freelance writing is great for those looking to start off making a little more income than your authors or bloggers.

 

Success, the Biggest Fear

The human mind is a strange one. Part of us wants nothing more than to be successful. For us authors it means making appearances, book signings, book launches, massive social media presence, the works.

But when we realize, usually once something crazy like that is booked, that we have to leave the safe spaces of our homes, libraries, and coffee shops to interact with those we’ve never met and whom we don’t know but they sure know us, things can and will get overwhelming.

Some of us realize these things must happen earlier than others and they’re something we’d love nothing more than to live without. We’d rather sit in a corner and pass out our writing to our fans with zero interaction, but that’s not the way it works.

I’ve always dreaded leaving my own comfort zone but at the end of the day have gotten to the point to where I’ve looked beyond the here and now and instead focused on the endgame. Doing so helps me realize what the sense of accomplishment will feel like at the end of the day. The endorphins, the high, the satisfaction that comes with it makes me laugh at the fear and uncertainty I’ve felt before such byproducts of success came about.

And if such a fear that I have scares you, you’re in luck. Your dreams are big enough and if you continue to look past the here and now when things get tough, instead looking to the end goal, you will accomplish every once scary dream you once thought was a journey away.

Until the journey has been completed, that is. Make sure your dreams are big enough to scare you and you will break down the fear barrier that might have been plaguing you this whole time.

How to Achieve Writing Success: Eat Your Humble Pie

This is a week for morality here at my blog, because I have been in a whirlwind as of late with life, but I want to take this whirlwind and turn it into a positive to help you achieve writing success and keep it.

As with success in any field, succeeding in writing won’t come easy and it won’t come fast. But it will come. Success in other fields will come faster, such as a primary income career (for the time being) or something similar.

Let’s face it, there are millions upon millions of writers, but it’s possible to set yourself apart from the pack.

I’ve talked to you all about finding a writing niche, or a genre that you can build your writing brand around.

For me, it’s urban fantasy tied in with epic fantasy since my two series place in the same world but in different time periods.

As I stated in yesterday’s blog, I’m working on an inspirational piece which one can call a hybrid inspirational/creative nonfiction story, which will be built around another brand and a pen name (my first and second initials plus my last name).

So, we have two brands to build around, and two brands I can utilize to separate myself from other writers, and you can do the same. For instance, perhaps you wish to write nonfiction but are also into writing science fiction. You can create two separate brands by using a real name for one, a pen name for another, or two pen names. It can be anything.

The first way to succeed as a writer is to build separate brands for all your work. Build around them, and watch them flourish in time.

There’s also a second way to succeed in writing and in life, for anything, so for non-writers, you’re welcome to view this article. This second way is to have a humble approach to your writing profession.

How is this accomplished?

 

One: Be Interactive

Okay, so first thing is first. If someone wishes to interact with you, interact back. It’s that easy. If they comment on your Twitter, comment back. Ditto for Facebook, blogs, anywhere.

You have fans and they took the time to reach out to you.

Knowing this, you need to take the time to respond to fans and followers. They’re investing their money into your work. Your work must’ve meant something to them, as they’re writing to you.

That’s pretty freaking cool, and you need to write them a personalized message. Not a cookie-cutter message like an email blast or anything of the sort.

And for the love of goodness, do NOT hire someone or outsource responses to someone else like a team member UNLESS that person is a close friend or family member who knows you AND your voice. There’s nothing more disgusting than people who hire some random person to answer fan mail. Honestly, it sickens me.

Former NASCAR superstar Richard Petty used to overstay for every single one of his autograph sessions so he could interact with all his fans. He was the most famous driver on the NASCAR circuit for ages, even after his prime.

Follow Petty’s lead and interact with your fanbase. All of them.

 

Two: Be Helpful

You realize that some fans of yours are aspiring writers themselves, right? Fantastic, so it’s your job to help them out.

No, I’m not saying you need to offer one-on-one Skype services or anything like that; I’d personally be very uncomfortable doing so, since I believe the best training for anyone is hands-on, not online.

However, this blog you’re reading right now helps writers.

Some of them might be interested in my books and follow my blog because I’m an author who’s published two books in a series and is on the verge of publishing a third within the next few weeks.

Some might just like my blog and have zero interest in my books. Like it breaks my heart; they’re still fans of mine because they find value in what I have to say on this blog, and that’s good enough for me.

Why?

Because word of mouth is a powerful advertising tool, and trust me, if people like your work in any capacity, they’re letting others know about it. The more you help others who were once in the same position you once were is more rewarding than any type of monetary success.

You were once walking lost through a forest of endless tips to the writing craft until you stumbled across something or someone that helped you out. So, you need to do the same for your people and hope they follow your example.

 

Show, Don’t Tell

Yes, you can be humble and still be a showoff.

I’m giving you permission to be a showoff, but if you think it means people need to look at and bow down to you, you’re out of your mind.

No, show as in show your readers and followers the process that took you to where you are today.

People. Love. This.

It gives you the opportunity to be an inspiration to someone else. You can show them where you were once upon a time at Point A, working X job and making X amount of money per hour. You were in debt, behind on all your bills, living on a prayer, facing total bankruptcy, whatever your story is or was, and you ended up not only succeeding but succeeding in your wildest dreams.

How’s that for show, don’t tell?

Do you realize how many people in America live paycheck to paycheck, or live without job security?

Or worse yet, are working two or sometimes three jobs just to make ends meet?

I’m one of those guys who isn’t a believer that government programs solve these problems (you may disagree with me here), but it’s because I believe in something else.

I believe there are a lot of people out there convinced their situation will never change, that it’ll never get better, and that they were destined for the short end of the stick.

This isn’t true.

Maybe you once thought this way.

You know this isn’t true.

Maybe these people are surrounded by others feeding them this lie.

Maybe you can be the one, even though you’ve never met them, to feed them the truth, the fortunate truth, a life-changing and perhaps a life-saving truth?

Share your freaking story, don’t be ashamed of it, and rest assured it will inspire others.

Your Fans are Your Partners

You’re not above your fans and I don’t care if you’re the next J.K. Rowling. In fact, I don’t care if you succeed at everything you touch, you’re not above your fans. Man, I wish certain NFL players realized this fact.

You do realize that without your fans, you have zero success, right?

You do realize that if your fans didn’t take to your work, you have zero success.

You might not even be that talented; hate to break it to you.

Let me give you an example: Bruce Springsteen never had a great voice. Some say he never even had a good voice.

But do you know what made Springsteen successful and even these days, when he turns 70 this year, what still makes him successful?

The guy can relate to his audience. He can relate to his fans.

He realized and realizes to this day his fans are his partners in crime.

If you haven’t done so, read some of his song lyrics.

The guy was able to click with his audience through some of the topics he sang about. That’s what made him successful.

It wasn’t because he had a good voice. It wasn’t because he could’ve been in the right place at the right time. Forget the myths. The guy knew who his target audience was, wrote song lyrics that pertained to them, he set them on a pedestal, and the rest is history.

Fans are partners. As you build your brand, your fans will be able to relate more and more to that brand. If you continue to work in ways that your fans can relate to, they’ll continue to follow you.

And if they continue to follow you, you’re set up for long-term success.

 

This should be your mission statement:

To ensure long-term success for (your name) by exceeding your readers’ wildest expectations.

Foundations for Your Success

1. TLC for all readers

2. Prompt delivery

3. Little room for error, if any

4. Heroic values

Pillars

1. Readers

2. Interaction

3. Helpfulness

4. Sharing

5. Partner Up

You Set Writing Goals and Objectives, Right?

I’ve written content regarding writing goals and objectives in the past but one mistake I made in these articles is that I focused so much on long-term I forgot to talk about short-term goals. This article will cover short-term goals in the case of novel writing.

Since we all love to write, the writing goals should be easy to set.

However, if we want to make our novels look so good where they can rise above the competition on Amazon, it always takes more than just writing to make this happen.

So, let’s get into the goal-setting mode here.

How can you, the writer set such goals for your book to look fantastic. This is, of course, considering you’re a free spirit and don’t mind the editing process along with everything else that goes into writing your novel.

 

First Draft Goals

What kind of goals do most authors set for their first draft?

Usually, they’re just happy to write each day and while that’s fantastic and all, it makes more sense to do something else: edit every other day.

Wait? What? Edit during the first draft?

Yes, because I can tell you from experience this works wonders.

I can also tell you from experience that when I wrote Northern Knights I neglected my editing during my first draft and came up with a disaster of a work.

Do yourself a favor and avoid disaster by taking your time and editing your work.

I like to write one day and edit the next.

I’ll do this until my first draft is finished.

This short-term goal is simple: Just write on the odd-number days, edit on the even-number days.

But, we need more if we’re making this a goal.

Let’s set a specific time to write and edit. Perhaps first thing in the morning, or late in the evening after work, or our daily commitments.

 

Short-Term Goal Number Two

Keeping up with my daily times which should be sacred at this point, I move onto my second goal: ferocious self-editing.

What is the goal?

I’m looking for any major plot holes my initial edits failed to find and destroying them.

I don’t edit once, but I’ll edit twice, and my goal remains: seek and destroy all major plot holes and make sure no other reader other than myself finds them.

I don’t worry too much about grammar here unless I find something that annoys me to the point I can’t ignore it and I’ll make a quick fix.

But the main goal is to knock out those plot holes.

 

Short-Term Goal Number Three

Okay, onto the next one. Now, I’m looking to tackle dialogue and minor plot holes.

Do I have a character who seems like they’re giving a speech every two pages with little to no white space?

In such instances, I always have at least two people per scene, so I’ll go ahead and add in some much-needed dialogue.

I don’t care if someone preaches to another, but man, let’s make the dialogue more realistic here.

Also, it’s never believable when people state someone else’s name in dialogue every sentence. In fact, it’s more artificial than manufactured candy. Leave it to the amateurs.

Yes, I have a bad habit of doing this and it’s why I’m intent on hunting it down and snuffing it before the masses see my work.

Plus, my minor plot holes, even something that most would brush off, are my next victims here. We’re putting everything in sync with this edit.

How many edits?

Ha! At least three, if not more. I’m anal, but it’s my editing style. Again, I don’t want anything left to chance here.

Goal Number Four: Grammar Errors and Typos

While I’ll leave in some grammar errors from a dialogue standpoint if I have a character who speaks in such ways, errors in narration are a huge no-no and should be axed.

As mentioned earlier, I do correct grammar and typos if I see and can’t ignore them.

But at this stage, the plot holes are covered, the dialogue is good, the characters’ personas are believable, so it’s time to put an end to all the madness and buckle down on grammar.

For one, typos are getting fixed relentlessly. I’ll also use stronger nouns and verbs while axing adverbs and adjectives. I hate them when I write my own fiction. For that, they’re gone for the most part, unless I can’t think of anything else, then they’ll survive.

So, it’s not only typos, it’s hunting down weak words and tackling them in favor of stronger ones.

 

Goal Number Five: Final Proofreading

At this point, I’m reading my manuscript like a book, so I’m uploading onto my Calibre. I always find about fifty more errors here, which is why I bother to do so, and so should you. It’s free and easy to download and gives your book an actual bookish feel.

Before I upload to Calibre I’ll first format my work.

I justify the margins, double-space my paragraphs, nuke the entire document (fancy word for simply copying and pasting my whole doc onto a separate MS Word), and make it feel more like a book.

Once properly formatted, the book is ready to be read but as I said, there are about fifty more errors to find here.

For some strange reason, it’s easier to find errors when in this format. I guess it does something weird to our brains, I shouldn’t wonder.

Oh, and just because it’s a final proofread doesn’t mean it’s a final proofread, okay?

I usually read this thing through a grand total of three times before I’m satisfied.

 

Goal Number Six: Upload that Baby!

Now, it’s finally ready to be uploaded onto Amazon or if it’s my Skyehawk Series, wherever e-books are sold.

Take about eight hours to create the paperbacks (Lord of Columbia Series only at the moment) and boom, be proud of my hard work over the past six to twelve months.

So, if you haven’t set short-term goals yet for the long-term “I want to write a book,” I suggest you break the major task down into sub-tasks because something tells me the ride will be far smoother.

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