Author Resources: Writing Inspiration, Tips, and Tools on Pinterest

Looking for writing tips? I have a board called Writing Tips and Tools that's here to help!

If you need help in any of these areas, this is a helpful board to follow:

  • Novel writing
  • Short story writing
  • Character development
  • Plotting
  • Pacing
  • Word choice
  • Setting a scene
  • and more

Please follow my board, because every time I find a great resource, I share it with you

Follow the Writing Tips and Tools Board

Writing Tips & Skills Pinterest Board

Follow your B.L.I.S.S.

Ronda Del Boccio

#1 best selling author, speaker, and Amazon Top Reviewer

About Ronda Del Boccio

Ronda Del Boccio is an award-winning and best Click for Member Home Pageselling author of both fiction and nonfiction. She tells transformational tales and helps visionary authors turn their dreams and imaginings into published books. See and order Ronda's books on Amazon.

Join Ronda's readers for free stories, sneak peeks at her next books and more at WriteOnPUrpose.com/read

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MyBookProgress Update: Epic Fantasy Revision: Slogging through Editing

A number of years ago I wrote an epic fantasy or maybe a paranormal fantasy. Hard to tell what to call it sometimes, as the lines blur.

I want to get it back out into the world now. A small press published it back before publishing was easier and cheaper. No, I didn't pay to publish but each copy of the book cost me $11, so that already made it an expensive book before earning any profit. I have my rights back, so I can publish it.

Rue the Day was never on Amazon and not widely available. I wrote it from start to polish in 4 months, and it's an intense story full of suspense, jealousy. and trickery.

Hidden Ozarks Paranormal Novellas
Phase:Revise
Due:1 year ago
33.3%
101 Tips & Hacks for Busy Writers
Phase:First draft
Due:1 year ago
19.8%
They All Died Smiling Sneak Peek Cover
They All Died Smiling
Phase:Galleys
0.8%

I DESERVE Abundance! Image shows a flower against an unfocused background http://writeonpurpose.com/miracle

First Round: Revisions

Continue reading "MyBookProgress Update: Epic Fantasy Revision: Slogging through Editing"

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Epic Fantasy (Revision) Progress Update

Progress update on my Epic Fantasy (Revision)! So far I'm 25% complete on the Revision phase. 4 Weeks remain until the deadline. I've done some massaging and editing along the way. #AmWriting #MyBOokProgress #AmEditing

Epic Fantasy (Revision)
Phase:Revision
Due:1 year ago
25%

I'm having a blast reworking this novel from 12 years ago. It's nice to delve back into the story, visit the characters, and realize how much I still like the story.

I hope you're progressing well with your works in progress!

Please share this all over the social web!

Follow your B.L.I.S.S.

Ronda Del Boccio

#1 best selling author, speaker, and Amazon Top Reviewer

About Ronda Del Boccio

Ronda Del Boccio is an award-winning and best Click for Member Home Pageselling author of both fiction and nonfiction. She tells transformational tales and helps visionary authors turn their dreams and imaginings into published books. See and order Ronda's books on Amazon.

Join Ronda's readers for free stories, sneak peeks at her next books and more at WriteOnPUrpose.com/read

Join Ronda's Readers

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Epic Fantasy Revision Progress Update: Chapters 1-4 Done

I just made progress on Epic Fantasy (Revision)! So far I'm 13% complete on the Revision phase. 5 Weeks remain until the deadline.

Epic Fantasy (Revision)
Phase:Revision
Due:1 year ago
12.9%

A long time ago in a room very close by...

...I wrote my first novel in 4 months. I thought I was writing a short story, but no.

I wrote an epic fantasy novel a dozen years ago, and it's time for that book to experience a revival. SO I'm breathing new life into it and, hopefully, improving it. I suspect I've learned a few things about writing in those years.

I've done quite a bit of rearranging.

Chapter 1 used to be the prologue. It has a new scene and some things added to what was on the page back then.

What used to be Chapter 1 is now Chapter 3.

What used to be memories or the protagonist sharing her past with people has been moved into what is now Chapter 2.

Some things I've learned thus far:

Continue reading "Epic Fantasy Revision Progress Update: Chapters 1-4 Done"

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Book Review of Jewish Historical Fiction Novel Please Say Kaddish for Me by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Welcome back to another Write On Purpose book review. I share well-written books. I highlight what makes each good from the reader’s perspective, and reveal what writing skills and techniques make it an irresistible read. Thus, each review serves both writers and readers. This time, it's a Jewish historical novel called Please Say Kaddish for Me by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

The author describes this book as "The dark side of Fiddler on the Roof." This is the perfect elevator pitch for the historical tale set in czarist Russia at the turn of the 20th Century. Here is the description from Amazon:

Please Say Kaddish for Me by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Jewish persecution under Russian Czar

1899 Russia under the cruel Czarist rule is not a good place to be a Jew!

cover of Please Say Kaddish for Me by Rochelle Wisoff-FieldsRussia under the diabolical Czarist rule is a very bad place and a very bad time to be a Jew. Fair game to marauding peasants and government militia alike, the random slaughter of entire Jewish families is commonplace rather than a rare occurrence. It is, however, a time for brave men. And brave women.

Barefoot, wearing only a flimsy nightgown, sixteen-year-old Havah Cohen alone escapes the brutal massacre by the Czarist tyranny that destroys her home and slaughters her family on a frigid November night in 1899.

Love ignited, lost and found, insurmountable struggles and challenges, Kishinev's Jewish pogroms and all odds against them, Havah and her soul mate, Arel, withstand the storms of life in this unforgettable story of a time and place rarely spoken of, and romance and courage so profound as to be rarely experienced.

While I read more paranormal, fantasy and suspense, I enjoy historical fiction, because I gain insight into another era in a way that my boring history classes in school never conveyed.

What made Please Say Kaddish for Me a great story, and what can authors learn by reading it? Continue reading "Book Review of Jewish Historical Fiction Novel Please Say Kaddish for Me by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields"

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Grief Is Like a Tea Bag: Book Excerpt from They All Died Smiling: Kassidy and Russell First Kiss

I just did an interview for a funeral home. Not a job interview. The kind a writer gives to an interested party.

Yeah, I don't know "why Ronda" either, but there it is.

Writing Challenges

Anyway, the topic of grief naturally arose, and I mentioned how grief infiltrates life the way a teabag infuses its essence into water. Grief can be a powerful motivator for a wide variety of actions a character takes (or does not take).  For the reader, seeing how the protagonist or other character responds to grief can make for fascinating  reading. The more a book or short story brings out emotion in the reader, the better.

That means a writer needs to infuse each tale with any and all emotions that comprise life. An author who is a student of human  nature and a keen observer has a clear advantage in potraying these emotions on the page.

Here is a book excerpt from my upcoming novel They All Died Smiling, .showing how Kassidy's grief over the death of her husband makes it hard for her to consider being with another man, even though she knows full well Randy would want her to move on. Continue reading "Grief Is Like a Tea Bag: Book Excerpt from They All Died Smiling: Kassidy and Russell First Kiss"

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Writing Skills Book Review of Creative Characterization by Jan Morrill

Having taken Jan Morrill's live workshop on creative characterization, I was thrilled when I saw the announcement that she had made a print (and Kindle) workbook to accompany it.

Creative Characterization by Jan Morrill

cover of Creative Characterization by Jan Morrill

 In Creative Characterization, award-winning author Jan Morrill discusses six different methods she uses to develop characters such as those in her historical fiction, The Red Kimono:

• Interviewing
• Describing Photos and Paintings
• Writing Letters
• Writing in a Different Point of View
• Accessing Character’s Inner Child
• Internalization

The exercises in this workbook will help develop characters, and may even lead to a bit of self-discovery along the way!

Do I find this book helpful for me as a fiction writer? Continue reading "Writing Skills Book Review of Creative Characterization by Jan Morrill"

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Book Review: Once There Were Sad Songs by Velda Brotherton

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Once There Were Sad Songs is a romance between two people fleeing their pasts. Author Velda Brotherton, a full time writer, created the story.  Wild Rose Press published it in December of 2013.

I have to be honest. I'm not usually a romance reader, unless there's suspense, mystery, or the romance is just part of life and not the focal point. Thee are certain conventions in the romance genre that drive me crazy.

I read Once There Were Sad Songs because of the skill of the author, Velda Brotherton. She  has now successfully written and published 25 books, I believe, and is a superb writer, a helpful mentor, and a terrific person.

Her writing is so strong and compelling. I'm glad I read this book.

When a writer is so gifted you'll gladly read a genre you don't normally enjoy, that's quality wordcraft.

SEXY, DARK AND GRITTY TALES Tough gutsy heroines, strong and gentle heroes, villains to die for.

The Romance Reviews

Here is the description from Amazon.com:

COver of Once There Were Sad Songs by Velda BrothertonIn the summer of 1985, Mary Elizabeth flees a fanatic husband and a cult-like life to search for a meaningful existence.

Camped in Ouachita State Park she falls in with three scruffy motorcycle bums after one of them rescues her from some young hoodlums. That one, despite all his nightmare memories, teaches her the true meaning of love and changes her life forever. Steven, a Vietnam vet and war hero set on the path to destruction with his buddies, never expected to find a woman whose love could help him see how to atone for his misspent life and find happiness again.

But once he's cofound her and realized the way he must go, it's impossible to keep her in his life. Or is it?

Read my 5-Star Review here

5 Star Review Graphic

 

Details that Reveal Character

I love how Brotherton reveals character and physical description at the same time. Here is an example from when Mary Elizabeth first get a look at the man who had pulled her out of the river yesterday:

Dimples carved humor into the features as if the artist who had sketched him had returned to add one more detail.It was an amazing restoration She couldn't help but smile back.

That is so much more elegant and effective than merely describing an expression or physique. Brilliant. That's the sort of thing that makes me read a romance that Velda authored.

Power of the Past

I have come to feel that the character's past is a character in its own right. In Sad Songs, Steven is a beleaguered veteran suffering from PTSD. Mary Elizabeth was fleeing her life in a cult with a control freak husband.

People--real people, not just characters in books--react based upon the past That's why I say it becomes a character all its own in stories such as this.

Neither of our heroes, particularly Steven, is always living in current time. Here is an example of how the past intrudes into a character's now:

With a sigh he turned toward the back wall, sucked in the musty smell of old, damp canvas, closed his eyes, and found himself gazing down with nine-year-old eyes into Papa's coffin. Saw the familiar old man change into a young soldier dressed in jungle gear. Steven Michael Llewellyn, killed in 'Nam, like he should have ben.

A terrifying darkness swallowed him up.

This is how memory works. I'm not talking about the kind of memory where you try to recall where you left your keys. The brain spits up other times,barging into our present with images, smells, recollections. It's messy and mostly unconscious.

The above passage is also an excellent example of deep POV, coming up next.

Deep POV (point of view)

I've brought up deep point of view more than once. It's currently the "in fashion" way to write, letting the reader deep inside the thoughts, feelings, and perceptions of the character. Brotherton is a master of deep POV.

Here is an excellent example from a passage in which we're inside the head of  Steven, an embattled Vietnam vet living the life of a wanderer with two of his buddies:

No tears. too late to cry. Much too late. His ruined life twisted behind him in long, ugly spirals. Like he'd snatched at it, squeezed it dry, then tossed it away. Never once looking back.

This pulls the reader into Steven's perception of his life and his sense of unworthiness.

Deep POV is something that you don't get as an author until you do. It may feel as if you're deep when you're not. Practice and read great examples.

Twisting the Romance Mold

Every genre has its conventions. Romance has a certain formula, dictating that the two who will pair off meet, have a ight (or several), make up, come closer together, fight again, and so forth. And just when things seem blackest and bleakest, they come together.

Once There Were Sad Songs is not your grandma's formulaic romance. While ere are the expected fights and make-ups (and some sex scenes), the plot is not predictable.

I love how the resolution happens. Naturally, I won't spoil it for you, but suffice it to say it's not typical.

A Reading Tip for Authors

Writers must read. Reading good books helps you improve writing skills.

Get a highlighter. If you're an author wishing to improve your skills, read books with a highlighter in hand.

I highlight passages on my Kindle all the time when I come across something juicy. Yes, it helps me write these reviews, but most importantly, doing this makes it easy to go back and review passages from which I as an author can learn.

Maybe it is a bit of character development, the cadence of dialogue, or a loaded description. Later I can easily see those highlighted bits.

Order your copy of Once There Were Sad Songs

Order from Amazon

Connect with Velda Brotherton

Like her Facebook page.

Visit her website.

Velda Brotherton book table including Once There Were Sad Songs, Beyond the Moon, Rowena's Hellion, Wolf Song and others

Similar Books by Velda Brotherton

Brotherton has published several books in which one of the main characters is a wounded warrior (veteran) with PTSD.

Beyond the Moon is a darker tale of a hospitalized veteran with raging PTSD and the artist dragged into his life. This is an intense tale published by Foyle Press, an Oghma Creative Media imprint.

Rowena's Hellion is the second in the Victorians series, also published by Wild Rose Press..

See all her many books on Amazon.

Book Reviews

Before posting here, I first write a review on Amazon, and I am an Amazon Top Reviewer; read my reviews at WriteOnPurpose.com/reviews.

Each Tuesday, read  a book review on WriteOnPUrpose.com. I delve deeper in these than I do for what I post on Amazon

Focusing on what makes a good read, these reviews benefit authors and readers alike. Each contains  hints to help authors make their books more compelling.

Book Review Requests

If you are an author desiring a book review, go to my Review Request Page at WriteOnPurpose.com/reviewrequest and complete the form. You will need to provide a digital copy of your book and be willing to accept my honest review.

Follow your B.L.I.S.S.

Ronda Del Boccio
#1 best selling author, speaker, and Amazon Top Reviewer

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Novel Writing Help: Do Your Characters Have to Cuss? NaNoWriMo Day 26

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Today while working on They All Died Smiling, on my mad dash to 50,000 words this month for NaNoWriMo,  I needed to deal with an angry phone call without suddenly introducing swear words into an otherwise clean book.

Image depicting swearing, but with no actual foul words

At meetings of the Northwest Arkansas Writer's Workshop, when an author is reading their allowed five pages, sometimes there is a cuss word on the page but the author replaces it with something more for a G-rated audience.

We travelers talked about cussing and steamy scenes in writing on the road back home.  None of our group prefers Rated-R type content.

I'm pretty sure I won't ever write a character who drops F-bombs every other sentence. I don't care to read that and certainly have no desire to write it.

More mild cussing I can handle, though I'm happier without it. That's just me. I make no value judgments about you no matter what your preference may be.

The thing is, lots of people swear, and they won't all say "oh shucky-darns." Here's how I handled that in They All Died Smiling for the one scene in which it intrudes into the story.

Artfully Avoiding Cuss Words

Keep in mind that Kassidy, in whose head you are for the entire novel, is the daughter of a Baptist preacher and not prone to coarse talk.

Kassidy never made it to work because she was taken elsewhere. Her boss did not grow up in Maybury.

My cell vibrated for perhaps the fifth time. “Please excuse me, gentlemen. Since we’re on a break, I’d better answer this time. I’m pretty sure it’s my boss.”

Predictably, all the calls were from my editor. I answered. He yelled so loud into my ear it vibrated my head and I couldn’t even understand him. I dropped the phone, fumbled it back into my hand, switched sides, prepared to hold it a foot away from the other ear.

“What’s his name,” Joshua asked.

“Bob Barkley, my editor.”

He reached for the phone, tried several times without success o break through Bulldog Bob’s bellowing. Whence a moment of silence finally arrived, he put the phone to his ear and said, “Mr. Barkley, this is Agent Joshua Hayes of the FBI. Ms. Bates is helping us with an investigation.”

He yelled something a bull leaves behind so loud we all heard.

“That’s twenty bucks in the cuss can, Bob. And it’s the God’s honest truth.”

A pause, then uproarious laughter. “Oh yeah, and I’m the Queen of England.”

He next told me which portion of me needed to make an immediate appearance back at the Trib.

“Just that part? That’s forty bucks in the cuss can, Bob,” I said. “I’m afraid I’m detained.”

His debt doubled again before he slammed down the phone so hard I wondered if it broke. I’ve seen that in movies but never experienced it. I envisioned him stomping around the newsroom giving everyone an extra hard time. I’m in an alternate universe where a normal day has no meaning.

Russ’ mouth hung open.

“He thought I was lying.” Joshua stared stunned at my phone, then handed it back.

The incredulity in his voice, the look on my friend’s face, and Bob’s tantrum acted as a pressure release. I laughed so hard my sides hurt. I suppose I should have been upset, but with everything else in my life going sideways, I truly saw the humor.

Once I had regained composure, I told them, “I feel sorry for the poor folks in the newsroom today. Bulldog Bob is going to go berserk on them over the truth.”

What do you think of how I handled the situation? I hope Kass' natural wit came through in a way that made you chuckle without seeming ridiculous.

Now for the...

NaNoWriMo They All Died Smiling Update:

I WILL cross the 50,000 word mark either tonight or tomorrow, a few days ahead of the November 30 deadline.

Here is my counter:

May your muse continue to inspire you.

Follow your BLISS,

Ronda Del Boccio

#1 best selling author & speaker

You can order all my books on Amazon

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Creating a Page Turner with Cliffhangers: NaNoWriMo Day 24

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) partiipant badge 2014)

I'm chugging along in my novel They All Died Smiling, and today I was thinking about how I end chapters. No matter what's happening or what comes next, I like to give people a compelling reason to turn the page.

Perhaps it's because I cut my writing teeth on Doctor Who fan fiction back in high school but I like to leave off with a cliffhanger.

This is called the Zigarnik Effect, named after a Russian psychologist who studied the cliffhanger effect.

Cliffhanger

You hear it all the time: "5 lethal chemicals you have under your sink...news at 11.".

SO today I thought I'd share some of my suspenseful statements:

Chapter One opens with this:

I thought I was just making another Friday night commute home. I had no idea I was about to dance with the devil. Silly me.

and the chapter ends with Kass mentally asking this question:

So why did terror seep into my mind during this time of joy for my friend?

Chapter two ends with impending trouble:

I never imagined the day would turn into an emotional roller coaster. Also didn’t figure it would start me on a quest that would get me chin deep in trouble. But it sure did.

Chapter Three finishes with a chilling thought:

I knew of a similar, equally unexpected situation in another state. Could these deaths be related?

Later, Kass will discover the depth of her trouble:

Because now, the enemy knows exactly who I am.

A little further along, Kass knows she's being watched by a demon:

“Probably just a tree branch bouncing in the wind, or maybe a bird flyhing past the street light. Not much else it could be up this high.”

“Must have been.” No, it was a pair of eyes glowing like smoldering embers, glaring at me.

While crafting each chapter, end it with a strong emotion or the promise of more conflict to come.

They All Died Smiling NANoWriMo progress update:

I'm in the low 40K range, in the home stretch to make 50K words by the end of the month. Here's my progress bar:

I invite you to get my books on Amazon.

Do you have a good cliffhanger to share? If so, add it to the comments.

Follow your BLISS,

Ronda Del Boccio

# best sellingauthor and speaker

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Authors: Honor Your Own Needs: NaNoWriMo Day 23

Miracle Mindshif tMonth-Shift-Happens

Each day during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), I'm sharing some insight that arose today. My book in progress is They All Died Smiling, a paranormal suspense book.

Previously I talked about honoring your writing process. Today is all about honoring your needs.

Miracle Mindshif tMonth-Shift-Happens

There will be days when no matter what your goal or intention, you won't get your desired amount of writing done.

There are also habits that will either improve or detract from your energy and production.

So here are my suggestions about respecting your needs.

Keep healthy snacks around.

Eat plenty of protein.

Rest when you need a break.

Get away from the desk and have fun.

MOVE your body every hour or so.

Get fresh air daily.

Realize that if you're working hot and heavy on a book, other things may slide (like housework).

I hope these tips help you. What would you add?

NaNoWriMo progress

I've passed the 80% mark and am on track to write 50,000 words t his month. It has been an emotional ride because of the nature of my book and the way I write.

Here's my proof of progress:

Follow your BLISS,

Ronda Del Boccio

#1 best selling author and speaker

You can find my books on Amazon.

 

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Novel Writing: Insights on Writing Emotionally Intense Scenes: NaNoWriMo Day 22

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) partiipant badge 2014)

BestEmotionsThere are times when writing  that you're simply not ready to create a certain scene.

I'm currently writing my second novel, They All Died Smiling. Today I filled in part of a scene I had been putting off for a bit.

 

I'm not a procrastinator when it comes to my favorite activity, so why did I put off writing the segment? Three reasons:

  1. It's a piece of backstory revealed as a memory.
  2. It's intense.
  3. Kass (the protagonist) hadn't told me everything that happened, and I needed that to amp up the emotion.

1. Reverie is often overdone in books and movies, but at times it's necessary. To do it well, the author needs to know the character and the event very well. Sometimes, things need to germinate and grow inside for a while before they're ready to come out.

2. Writing an intensely emotional scene involves me getting into that state. The writer's version of method acting. I go through every memory of my character as a fresh event. It's draining, so I need to be in the right space and have no possibility of interruption (which means late night writing).

3. My characters talk to me (or sometimes not). 3. I know Kass well, including the pain of her past, But as with any painful experience, it's often easier for someone to share the high level overview but not the gritty details.

So late tonight, I dove into that heart-wrenching memory that floods Kass's mind while she's riding the el train in Chicago all the way back in hapter one.

Putting the scene into words meant lots of tears, fear, and betrayal, then it took me a couple hours to go to sleep afterwards.

This scene didn't add much to the word count, but it enriched the reader experience.

I hope this is helpful to you on your author journey.

My NaNoWriMo Progress

I will hit the 80% mark this weekend, yay! Now that I have this crucial memory in place, I'm ready to  get into the most perilous, frightening part of the tale in the coming week.

Follow your BLISS,

Ronda Del Boccio

#q best selling author and speaker

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Novel Writing Help: X Marks the Spot: Using Place Holders Saves Time: NaNoWriMo Day 21

reading birdsgraphic:

I'm well into writing my second novel, They All Died Smiling, and I use a technique I thought might be useful for you.

Did you ever decide you need to add something to a scene, but you're not ready right now?

Maybe you need to describe the setting or add actions to a chunk of dialogue,, but now isn't the time or you're not sure what to do yet.

Novel writing skills: keeping it simple

Writing a novel is a big deal with lots of people, situations, plots and subplots to track. SO keep things simple.

reading birdsgraphic:

Remember, you don't have to write in a linear fashion. You won't always know every single thing that needs to be in each chapter before or even while you're writing it. Sometimes you'll need to fiddle.

The solution is simple: Put a placeholder into your manuscript so you know where to go.

X Marks the Spot: Using Placeholders

I had completed several chapters before I knew exactly what needed to be in that place in Chapter One, and I wasn't ready to write it yet. So I used a placeholder.

I do this often in my work, and perhaps you'll find this tip helpful. It works in nonfiction or fiction.

I use XXXX, but it could be any repeated letter that isn't a word. That way, when you're ready to delve into whatever I've decided to do later, you simply search for XXXX (Find Command) and I'm there.

If you want to get fancy or are afraid you won't remember what you wanted to do, consider something like this:

XXXX-describe castle.

Then simply delete it when you come back to fix it.

I hope this saves you some time.

National Novel Writing Month Progress Report

I'm on trackto finish the 200 pages by the end of the month, in the high 30,000s as of now. THe weekend will be less words.

Stick to your writing goals.

Follow your BLISS,

Ronda Del Boccio

Find my books on Amazon

 

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Writing In Service of the Story: NaNoWriMo Day 20

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Today, the 20th day of a month-long novel writing challenge,  I consider my approach to the momentous task of producing 200 pages in 30 days.

My progress is over 120 pages thus far.

Abraham Inspirational Quote: "The Universe is not punishing you or blessing you. The Universe is responding to the vibrational attitude that you are emitting." - Abraham-Hicks

I didn't plot and plan for months. I decided on Halloween to participate. The protagonist, Kassidy, came to me with her story, and I know where the book is going. Characters and new scenes surprise me along the way.

Honor your process

Your process is what it is. I make no judgments about whether  you planned for months, complete detailed character sketches, or write by the seat of your pants.

What you receive mirrors your intent and energy.

Expectations shape reality

The task does not feel enormous to me, because each day I sit at my keyboard, open a vein and write, in service of the story and the characters.

By laying aside expectations, hopes for the work, concerns about publishing and the like,

I come to each writing session with a clean energy, a fresh experience.

In service of the story

Being in service of the tale, I am open and ready. I trust my muse, my process, and the work to be precisely what it needs to be.

This has kept me on track for completion on or slightly ahead of schedule.

The power of discipline

Yes, there is dedication. Yes, I say no to lots of extraneous distractions and invitations.

Yes, it is worth all of this and more.

If you are part of NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, please hold true to your commitment and give it your best efforts, your best self.

My username is TheStoryLady, and I will gladly be your buddy.

I invite you to receive stories, words of encouragement, and surprises at WriteOnPurposecom/read.

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Follow your BLISS,

Ronda Del Boccio

#1  best selling author and speaker

Order any of my books from Amazon.

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It Practically Seemed Virtually Real: Avoid Bad Writing Habits: NaNoWriMo Day 19

Image of power in your hands

It grates on my nerves when I'm reading a good book and come across puny words that waste valuable emotion and say nothing. This is on my mind as I continue working on my paranormal suspense novel, They All Died Smiling

Image of power in your hands

If you're following my progress, wondering if I will indeed write a 200 page book in 30 days, I'm pleased to say I'm on track. Here is my progress bar:

Writers READ

I read at least two books a week (or one biggie). As I'm engaging in the story, I notice technique, because I'm also reading with the senses of a writer.

While enjoying a good cozy mystery, I came across the word "seem" three times. UGH! Seem is on the author 101 list of words to avoid. It's insubstantial, a waste of space.

As I'm writing, my focus is upon pouring out the first draft.I do very little fiddling unless it is to add to a scene. Only in the editing phase will I look through my work-in-progress for weak words.

Here are some examples. Look through every story, article or book you submit exercise your creative muscle to pump up your prose.

Naughty words list

Seem/seemed: Be strong. Say what something is or is not.

had ___ (past imperfect tense):  While at times necessary, one use of had ___ suffices.

Adverbs: This maligned part of speech answers the question "how?" and generally end in ly. Rather than saying "he walked quickly", why not say, "He dashed"?

Is/was/were: Often, you can replace forms of the word "to be" with more potent words. I said "suffices" above rather than "is sufficient."

Passive voice: This goes along with forms of "to be" and deflates your writing.

Talk Tags: While once all the rage, using tags such as "he said" has fallen from grace. Avoid talk tags except where they clear confusion.

Things/stuff: Call stuff what it is. teehee.

Got: Rather than "he got an ice cream", use a worthy verb. Got is the unwanted stepchild of verbs.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it's a start. Amp up the power.

Most Important Lesson:

Verbs power prose.

Have fun. If you want writing and book marketing tips, go to WriteOnPurpose.com/free for weekly guidance.

Follow your BLISS,

Ronda Del Boccio

#1 best selling author and speaker

Find my books on Amazon.

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Book Review of Daughter of the Howling Moon by R. H. Burkett: NaNoWriMo Day 18

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Welcome back to another Write On Purpose book review. Each week, I review a well-written book, highlighting what makes it good from the reader’s perspective and what writing skills and techniques make it an irresistible read. Thus, each review serves both writers and readers.

Here I am more than halfway through National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and still on track with my own novel-in-progress, They All Died Smiling.

People who like my upcoming book will LOVE Daughter of the howling Moon, a .gripping paranormal suspense story of an epic battle between good and evil.

Before I dive into the review, here's my progress for those of you keeping tabs.

Writers need to read.

One of the most important tasks any author can do is to read superior books. Not the old time classics, but modern books that speak to the people in current times.

Daughter of the Howling Moon was an excellent book for me to read while writing my own work in the same genre.

R. H. Burkett is an Arkansas author with a background in theater and a poetic sensibility that adds a layer of intensity to her books that few authors achieve.

I gave her newest book, Daughter of the Howling Moon, a 5-star review on Amazon.

Cover of Daughter of the Howling Moon by R. H. Burkett

What makes this a great story worth reading? Continue reading "Book Review of Daughter of the Howling Moon by R. H. Burkett: NaNoWriMo Day 18"

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Dealing with a Derailed Day when Writing Novel: NaNoWriMo Day 17

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I can hardly believe it's day 17 of NaNoWriMo, I had been making good progress. Lost some steam this weekend with the writing conference, but I had gotten ahead, so no worries.

Today didn't end up as planned. My afternoon got swallowed up dealing with some unexpected time-sucking activities.

Later at night I'm not always in the space for an intense writing session, so tonight, een though I wasn't in the mood, I made myself sit down and work on the book, They All DIed Smiling.

Want to improve your writing skills? Simple. Write More.

I opted not to start into a big scene, but I interviewed one of my characters to get more insight into him, and I added a little to a scene I had wanted to adjust.

It's all progress.

Keep writing, no matter what. Just do it.

Follow your BLISS,

Ronda Del Boccio

#1 best selling author and speaker

FInd my books on Amazon

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Getting OUT Among Other Writers: NaNoWriMo Day 15

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I'm still baking in the glow of winning a bunch of cash and those writing awards yesterday.

Today I was away from my writing desk to attend the Ozarks Writers League quarterly conference. Each time there are speakers helping with some aspect of writing.

Tricia Goyer, author of about four dozen books,  spoke at all sessions. She covered writing and publishing for the Christian market in the morning. This part was of little relevance to me,a s that is not my market.

Regardless, I have huge respect for someone who has been a professional writer for decades and manages to shuffle family, charity, and her craft. I can learn something from everybody I hear speak about writing.

Tricia Goyer has a super popular mom blog as well as bushels of books.

Picture ofAuthor Tricia Goyer
Author Tricia Goyer

Novel Writing Tips

Her afternoon sessions about writing a novel definitely piqued my interest. Here are a couple of the insights I gained from her talks:

Study the structure of movies and take that back into novel writing.

Halfway through a ovie or novel comes a turning point at which the protagonist must make a meaningful discovery and begin a path of change.

The protagonist should meet the problem in chapter one.

If there is a love interest, they need to meet in chapter one.

The hero needs a source of joy as well as a vice, which need to be introduced early in the tale.

Much to my delight, I am on track with all this in They All Died Smiling. the paranormal suspense novel I'm writing this month for NaNoWriMo.

Here's my progress for the book:

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How are you coming along toward your goals?

Keep writing, and as always, follow your BLISS

Ronda Del Boccio

Best selling author and speaker

Find my books from Amazon and enjoy them!,

 

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Funny Story about Being Spooked while Writing a Novel: NaNoWriMo Day 13

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Today I was writing a creepy scene in They All Died Smiling about a demon who has just discovered who and what Kassidy is, even though she herself has no clear idea yet.

Here's a sample:

My hair stood on end. The black haze eclipsed Amber. A pair of red eyes glowing like embers pierced through the blackness to stare at me. They were where Amber’s eyes would be, but they did not belong to her.

Those red glowing eyes reappear a number of times. At one point, my cat sat next to my keyboard getting intermittently petted, and we both heard a sound from another room.

There was nobody in the house but us. I was spooked. Good thing I have the house shielded. I think I'll put seasalt at all the doors and windows.

Here's my progress in NaNoWriMo. Nice being past the halfway mark.

Keep writing and as always, follow your BLISS,

Ronda Del Boccio

#1 best selling author

FInd my books on Amazon

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How to Just Keep Writing a Novel: NaNoWriMo Day 12

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One of the best writing skills you can develop is to save edits for the second draft.

Today as I was working on my novel They all Died Smiling, I thought of a few minor changes I wanted to make to earlier scenes. Since I'm in speed writing mode, I didn't stop to "fix" those scenes.

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) partiipant badge 2014)

I simply made some notes about what chapter and what to do. Now I know I won't forget, and I can put that out of my mind and...

Just Keep Writing.

As I said in yesterday's post, when writing, don't stop to edit. Taking notes lets you stay out of your own way.

May your must inspire you. Keep writing.

Follow your BLISS,

Ronda Del Boccio

#1 best selling author and speaker

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Authors Wear Two Hats: Wear the Right One for the Job: NaNoWriMo Day 11

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Whether you're writing a novel, short story or nonfiction piece, you as a writer have two hats:

  • Writer hat
  • Editor hat

Your writer hat is the creative side, responsible for conveying the story.

The editor hat is the stickler for grammar, punctuation, and structure.

Ronda Del Boccio, the Story Lady - Follow Your B.L.I.S.S.!

As you only have one head, presuming ou're a human reading this, you can only  wear one hat at a time.

So when you're in writer mode, these are things you do NOT want to do:

  • Don't worry about synonyms.
  • Don't bother with typos.
  • Don't fix scenes..
  • Don't go back and re-read past scenes to get yourself in the mood to write fresh material..

Wearing the Writer Hat, DO these things:

  • Just keep writing.
  • Leave typos to the Editor Hat.
  • Leave synonyms to the Editor Hat.
  • Leave grammar to the Editor Hat.

When you're writing, WRITE. When you're editing, EDIT. If you mix the two, you'll squash your creativity.

Remember... one head = one hat at a time!

Remember (image of a hand with a string tied around rhe index finger

They All Died Smiling Updatte

I'm writing this paranormal suspense novel during NaNoWriMo. Nice push goal to keep butt in seat and fingers on keys. I'm nearing the halfway mark and will get there on the 12th. Yay!


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Ronda Del Boccio

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Novel Writing: How Do You Keep the TImeline Straight? NaNowriMo Day 10

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I'm currently writing my second novel. Everything takes place within a tight timeline. My first 300+ page novel covered a timeframe of 2 weeks.

Keeping time is important. You don't want someone who's eating dinner with his wife in once scene be across town five minutes later in another.

People ask me how I keep time straight.

I do a couple of things to make my life easier. Maybe they'll help you with your novel.

The Time is NOW!

Add notes to the start of each chapter.

You'll take out the notes before sending your book to publishers, but while you're writing, the notes can really help. Especially when you're in the editing phase.

One of my notes reads as follows:

(NOTE: Saturday train ride 5 pm)

My story takes place in November. This cue tells me it's dark and feels like night even though it's still early evening.

In this book, They All Died Smiling,  I'm in one point of view the whole time , so this is sufficient. When I wrote Rue the Day, several people told the story, so I employed my other method.

Create a Timeline of who's where when.

Even though I don't need it as much for Smiling, I do have a paper list in a spiral notebook timeframe by each  Sure, I could do it online, but I still like to have aper notes near at hand. Plus, if I'm not at a computer and remember a detail or get inspired, I can write it down without major inconvenience.

My timeline notes for Smiling begin thusly:

  • Capter 1: Friday night commute
  • Chapter 2: Late Friday night, insomnia, cat fight
  • Chapter 3: Saturday AM  Kass + Julie,  commute

Now, as I go along, I can keep track of things with ease.

Don't be afraid to kick it old school

Sure, I love my computer. I'm thrilled to have a tablet. I feel all Star Trek with it. But I wouldn't do without my spiral notebooks either.

Sure, I could take notes in a file or with a voice app, but it's still good to have a way to track work that doesn't involve a power cord.

I like a steno pad or spiral notebook of a similar shape, but you'll figure out what works best for your preferences.

Don't forsake paper just because you have a phone, tablet, and/or computer that does it all.

My NaNoWriMo progress

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is all about writing a first draft of a 200 page book in the 30 days of November.

Today I will hit the halfway mark. Yay! I need to get ahead, because this weekend I will be at a writing conference and will anticipate only being able to produce small word counts Friday and Saturday.

Here's my progress chart:

Keep to your writing goals and be sure to join Ronda's Readers for stories, sneak peeks of my upcoming books and more WriteOnPurpose.com/read

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Ronda Del Boccio

#1 best selling author

FInd all my books on Amazon.

 

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