donovanmneal

Archive for March, 2013|Monthly archive page

Yay its resource Monday: But on Friday. :-)

In Great Resources, Its resource Monday! on March 15, 2013 at 4:27 pm

Trumpet sounding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok each week I am scouring the net for great resources of all kinds.  Primarily for writers but it can be whatever fancies me.

This week I’d like to present…drum roll please….Authors marketing Club!

Let’s give them a hand shall we!

Well I found this gem of a site while looking for resources to better market my own wares.

Here’s a quick video that talks about what they do.

But overall you can…

Upload book trailers and have them reviewed!

They have dozens of helpful videos to help you understand how to market your book, and build a great platform

There are some great forums to participate in and get feedback

They have a book featured portion that sends your book out to over 3000 people via email lisitng.  That’s a huge number of people

Finally one of the nicest things is their book submission tool which allows you right from their site. “No longer do you have to dig up your links to the best places to submit your books. We’ve put them all together here for you in one spot. Just click on the logos below to load each site’s form, fill in your details, and you’re done.”  There are 20 different sites that once you complete their submission requirements gets your book in front of thousands of people.

I can’t speak more highly about this site which is why I became a member.  If you are marketing a book, especially if its digital this site is a godsend.

Here’s the link!

http://authormarketingclub.com/

It’s Inspiration Tuesday!

In It's Inspiration Tuesday! on March 12, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Because I know that music makes you braver, and evokes emotion in a person. I will weekly list a track that moves me. I’m going to ask you to do the same. What music moves you to write, evokes emotion? Inspires you…to write. Create.

This sweeping, powerful melody, beckons one to take up arms, to grasp for the dream that seemed so formerly out of touch. With a female vocal, it quickly inspires you to stand and fight, it calls you to rise up and in the face of fear, know that nothing is impossible and that our time of freedom has come!

Enemies of the Art Part 10–Having a Thin Skin

In On writing on March 11, 2013 at 7:31 pm

The question is can you take the heat! Yep shes absolutely right. Sometimes we have a hard time accepting criticism of our work. But without it we can’t grow.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Being a writer is great fun. We are storytellers and we love entertaining people. The new paradigm is AWESOME. Suddenly, if you want to publish your work, you can. We no longer have to go the traditional route and self-publishing is certainly an option. Yet, we MUST be careful. Our product should be AS GOOD as anything out of NY. I see a lot of writers who rush to publish when they aren’t ready.

They don’t have a core story problem, or don’t yet properly understand the role of antagonists and how to use them. Many don’t yet grasp narrative structure or POV. There is A LOT that goes into writing a novel a reader will enjoy. Just because we made As in English doesn’t automatically qualify us to create a work of 60,000 or more words that can keep a reader riveted. There is a lot of stuff “behind…

View original post 1,154 more words

How I write my novels a 10 step beginners guide. Step 3

In How to begin your novel in 10 steps, On writing on March 10, 2013 at 7:07 am

tools

Writing a novel can be a daunting task. I know because it’s taken me 7 years to complete my first one.  However, writing is easier for me now, than when I started. I realize that there are many of you who want to write that first novel, so let me lend my acquired experience to make your journey easier.

I have 10 steps that I realized I have used to complete my book.  During the next 9 weeks I’m going to provide you with the actual and specific tools that have used.  I’m going to put them up on this blog for you to see, and I’m going to give them away to you for free!  Yes, free because I want you to be successful! I know that they will work for you  some of you are more computer literate than others, so my tools are going to help you no matter what level of proficiency you have in software or hardware.  All you need is a desire to learn, and a willingness to implement the steps.

How I write my novels a 10 step beginners guide. Step 3

Ok here is step three: get your tools together.

By tools I mean all those necessities that you need to craft your story.  Here are some examples

Make sure you have your ‘buckets’ close by!

Dictionaries.  (Have more than one, or use the web)

Thesaurus ( I keep two at my desk, I don’t simply use the ones on the word processor.)

White noise generator/ Music if you like something in your background.  Whatever is needed to address your ability to concentrate.  Some like music some don’t.

Munchies/Drink (get the cheetos, candy, nuts, coffee, whatever so you’re not having to keep getting up.  Sometime when I’m in a flow I write past my hunger.

Grammar books.

Here are some internet sites I use as ‘online tools’.

http://thesaurus.com/

http://www.grammarly.com/ (warning its rather slow so have a good pc if you use it.)

I’ll talk more about this book in the next blog but for now you can use it as a reference to hone in on your characters temperament.

http://www.amazon.com/Please-Understand-Temperament-Character-Intelligence/dp/1885705026/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363552195&sr=8-1&keywords=keirsey+temperament

A site that gives you adjective to describe tone feeling and emotions

http://grammar.yourdictionary.com/parts-of-speech/adjectives/list-of-adjectives-to-describe-tone-feelings-emotions.html

How if you use MS Word to prepare your novel.

http://daiya.mvps.org/bookword.htm

Steps 2 and 3 are about preparation.  Next week’s steps will be about actualization.  I will tell you in advance that we will talk about your novels characters, and how to create them.  So keep coming back!  This is where the rubber really hits the road.  I’m going to give you a character template to help flesh out your characters so stay tuned!

Oh and PS!

I want to hear from you!

To prove it and show my love, for the month of March, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment and link back to my blog, and mention my book The Third Heaven: The Rise of Fallen Stars in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? A guest blog appearance!  Yep I’ll feature you in my blog and help promote you!  How about that?

I will pick a winner once a monthSo at the end of March I will pick a winner for the monthly prize. Good luck!

Don’t forget to and check out my preview trailer for my new book, The Third Heaven: The Rise of Fallen Stars coming out in a couple of months!

 

I’m celebrating Detroit!

In Uncategorized on March 9, 2013 at 1:33 am

Detroit is an interesting city. I used to live there as a child and it’s changed very much. I remember it as a place that had amusement parks in the city and on an Island.

http://apps.detnews.com/apps/history/index.php?id=104
http://boblosteamers.com/amusement.html.

The Hudson store downtown, the auto show, going down the street to the corner store to buy a snickers bar for a quarter.
I also remember it as a place that had gangs, having my home broken into three times. I remember growing up on a block that had white and black people living on the block. And someone being stabbed in my driveway. A place where we played baseball on the corner, tag football in the street. Seeing Jaws at the Norwest Theatre. Having a nice brick home with a nice size backyard and big attic that was my own room.

Detroit is going through some challenges financially, and they are all documented for the world to see. The governance of Detroit has left a lot to be desired. I’ve heard such comments about the Democrats ruining Detroit. Black people not knowing how to run a city; what a crazy comment for so many reasons. (Ugh has anyone heard of Atlanta! It’s predominately African American.)
But the bottom line, I think it’s simply more sensational to talk about a city that was once one the nation’s largest to being on the border of bankruptcy, and barely able to stay in the top 20 in terms of population.

I hate unbalanced talk about Detroit. I see so much negative images and Detroit. But to me the real story is that despite such devastation to this municipality there are also images of growth, and rebirth and signs that the city is far from dead.
So for the next 7 days. I am going to celebrate Detroit. Yep I’m going to post images, spread the word, do anything I can to help for the next 7 days stem the tide of all the negative images and press we here about this city.

I don’t live in Detroit at the moment. Haven’t in many years. But as far as I’m concerned now. I’m adopting it. It’s my city. Warts and all, good and bad. It’s got some major issues. MAJOR. But you can’t tell me you also can’t see the good that’s being done within it as well. I personally think that what happens to Detroit in some ways says more about us who watch on the side lines. Many of us were so shocked to hear of a woman who failed to render aid, at a nursing facility and presumably the lack of aid contributed to her dying. For those that criticize her, I think we have to ask ourselves are we any better? Are we watching a whole municipality sink into ruin, and we shroud ourselves in the cloak of that’s not my responsibility, I’m doing my job. We can’t all do something. But we can all be fair. I once heard someone say you are either part of the problem, or part of the solution. What problem are YOU solving by bashing Detroit?

Talk is cheap.
There is no way I can correct all of the challenges that Detroit has. It takes much smarter people than me to do that. But I like what Governor Snyder has said, about positive relentless action. I can be positive. I can pay it forward. That I can do. Many of us parents teach our kids that if you can’t say something positive don’t say anything at all. It’s amazing how we can say something like that to our kids and still bash a whole city out of the same mouth. So here’s my challenge to you.

Tell me something good.

Glen beck once compared Detroit to Hiroshima. People like to post images of a Detroit that’s a ruined gutted shell of itself.

Detroit is not Hiroshima.

Yay its resource Monday: But on Thursday. :-)

In Great Resources on March 7, 2013 at 1:26 am

Image

Ok each week I am scouring the net for great resources of all kinds.  Primarily for writers but it can be whatever fancies me.

This week I’d like to present…drum roll please….HubSpot’s Marketing Grader!

Let’s give them a hand shall we!

Well I found this gem of a site while looking for resources to better market my own wares.

Per the website Marketing Grader does the following.

“HubSpot’s Marketing Grader allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing by looking at many factors, including your website, social media activity, mobile responsiveness, blogging activity, email marketing, lead nurturing, and analytics. As a marketer, you need to be aware of how each of your marketing efforts affect your lead pipeline, and spend your limited time on the activities that will give you the most return. Marketing Grader does just this by analyzing all aspects of your marketing efforts and letting you know where you’re succeeding and what you need to spend more time improving.

Marketing Grader also outlines why you should take particular steps to improve and what your top priorities should be. With customized action items to help the top of your funnel, the middle of your funnel, and your analytics, Marketing Grader makes it easy for you to figure out your next steps.

Marketing Grader will help you understand:

Blogging Is my blog driving results that justify the time investment, or are we wasting time doing the wrong things?

Social Media How effectively are we using Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter in our marketing?

SEO How optimized is my website to be found by people searching for my services online?

Lead Generation Are my marketing efforts generating enough leads and sales?

Mobile Marketing Is my web presence optimized for mobile devices?

Competitive Benchmarking Is my marketing more or less effective than my competition?”

Now I don’t know about you.  But if you have a blog or website I think all of us want increased traffic, and having an objective outside entity look at your website and see if it can be improved can go a long ways.

I would say look at its results as foundational steps of what you might want to do further with your marketing of your site.

Since authors HAVE to market in order to get their work exposed.  And authors are not necessarily marketers and need help in this area.  I thought I’d share this lil nugget.  I hope you find it useful.  The link is below.

http://marketing.grader.com/?s=prg/

Until next time!

Oh and PS!

I want to hear from you!

To prove it and show my love, for the month of March, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment and link back to my blog, and mention my book The Third Heaven: The Rise of Fallen Stars in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? A guest blog appearance!  Yep I’ll feature you in my blog and help promote you!  How about that?

I will pick a winner once a month. So at the end of March I will pick a winner for the monthly prize. Good luck!

Inspiration Tuesday

In It's Inspiration Tuesday! on March 5, 2013 at 7:10 pm

Because I know that music makes you braver, and evokes emotion in a person. I will weekly list a track that moves me. I’m going to ask you to do the same. What music moves you to write, evokes emotion? Inspires you…to write. Create.

Here is a piece that has inspired me to write a Novel about a young man and his tribe in a African/ desert nation.

Literally I kept listening to this song, and the ‘star stuff’ gathered. I have a basic plot, names and histories of families formed, and the physical layout of the world map all materialized.

It’s a sweeping, beautiful epic piece.

How I write my novels a 10 step beginners guide.

In How to begin your novel in 10 steps, On writing on March 3, 2013 at 8:48 pm

Image

Writing a novel can be a daunting task. I know because it’s taken me 7 years to complete my first one.  However, writing is easier for me now, than when I started. I realize that there are many of you who want to write that first novel, so let me lend my acquired experience to make your journey easier.

I have 10 steps that I realized I have used to complete my book.  During the next 10 weeks I’m going to provide you with the actual and specific tools that have used.  I’m going to put them up on this blog for you to see, and I’m going to give them away to you for free!  Yes, free because I want you to be successful! I know that they will work for you  some of you are more computer literate than others, so my tools are going to help you no matter what level of proficiency you have in software or hardware.  All you need is a desire to learn, and a willingness to implement the steps.

Ok here is step one: collect and surround yourself in inspiration.

In this first step, I want to explain what this is.  Why it is important, and how to do it.

What does this mean?  I mean it sounds so ethereal, so right brained.  It is.  As a Christian, I derive a lot of importance from the Bible.  Regardless of one’s faith, there is a passage that I think applies to us as writers period that speaks to this issue of surrounding ones self in inspiration..

Heb 11:3  Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

The thing I want to focus on is the phrase, “the things which are seen were not made by the things which do appear.”  As an author, you are bringing the world you create from your mind into the real world.  Whether it’s to the printed page, or like George Lucas’s Star Wars to the big screen.  Your novel is the substance of something that no one has seen yet.  It’s just an idea a thought.  But it’s a powerful one.  It’s unseen, covered, hidden.  We need to begin the process of bringing it from your mind into the tangible world.  This process is similar to when storm clouds gather: the super cells are forming, winds are racing enough to create a storm, but it requires the right environment to do so.

Or imagine for example that you are in space: planets are formed by grabbing the dust and debris caught in their increasing gravitational pull until these individual elements gel, coalesce, and become dense enough that a planet is formed.  The planet itself then generates its own increasing influence on the space around it.  Likewise, your novel is the same.  In this case YOU are that raw piece of rock that’s spinning in the vastness of space; so fast that you know a book is in you waiting to get out.  But like that planet you need to reach out and grasp those other particles of dust and debris, and bring them into you to feed your completion to become the life giving planet that is forming.

You need to collect inspiration.  So collecting inspiration is the act of reaching out and feeding your imagination and the creative fire that fuels your imagination for your story.  It’s the act of gassing up the car of your writing.  I hope that gives an idea of what collecting or surrounding yourself in inspiration is.

Why is this step important?  Because without the fire, to bring the story out.  It will die.  You need fuel to do anything.  To live.  To work, to function in society, you need energy (I like the word fuel) to propel you, to motivate, and move you.  You need fuel to write your story.  If there is no fuel for the writing of your story.  You will not write it.  It is as simple as that.

Ok how to feed the imagination of your story?

Gather the ‘star dust’ of images, and music, words that resonate with you; anything that powers your imagination to help bring into reality your world  Think about the subject or theme of your book, then type into Google that subject area.  Let’s say its dystopia.  Then select the images and videos option and see what jumps out at you.

YouTube is a wonderful source of music and video that can inspire.  USE IT!  Find that music, that picture that ignites your mind to write your story.  It’s your star stuff, bring it ‘into you’ and let it fuel your imagination.  George Lucas for example was inspired by Flash Gordon. (http://www.moongadget.com/origins/flash.html)

If you take a look at the link you will notice how similar some of the ideas are.  Again for me a scripture comes to my mind that again affirms my point.

Ec 1:9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there anything whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.

What’s ‘new’ is the fact that the world, the people, etc. are ‘new’ to US. They’ve not see the unique take we have on a story. Taking elements of the past and mixing them to come up with something tasty.  (you are a literary chef). That is your job as an author.  Gather the star stuff.

Use Pinterest.  Type in your ideas in the search engine and again see what images evoke emotion in you.  Write to capture that emotion, that image, the feeling that it conveys.  Keep these things with you.

I make CD’s of music that reminds me of my fictional world and listen to them in my car.  Keep images on your desktop, change your ringtones on your phone.  GATHER THE STAR STUFF!  Watch movies and read books that reflect what you want to create!

Next week we will be going over step 2.

Until then, gather the star stuff!

P.S.

Go back into my earlier Blogs about inspiration and about writing.  Keep checking back for more useful tips. https://donovanmneal.wordpress.com/category/on-writing/

and check out my preview trailer for my new book, The Third Heaven: The Rise of Fallen Stars coming out in a couple of months!