Staying disciplined

Just like everything else in life, writing takes discipline. If you don’t have discipline, you won’t have any writing to show.
It’s easy to get distracted with the hectic lives we all lead, but just as any other job, you must set time aside to write, whether it’s work on a novel, jotting down a poem or two or writing a short story.
It’s important to find a time to write and stick to that schedule.
I prefer to write in the evenings. Most people I know like to write first thing in the morning, but I’ve never been much of a morning person. I guess it takes my brain a while to wake up and get functioning.
Of course, there are a couple of downsides to writing at night. If I start too late I get tired quickly, or if I get really into my story I will end up staying up into the early morning hours, then still have to get up for work.
Regardless of when you like to write, it’s important to set a time aside to do so. It’s also helpful to have a place set aside where you can keep your notes and writing materials so you have easy access to them and don’t have to get things out and put them away each time.
Make it as easy on yourself as possible.

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Getting inspired

Where do you get your ideas? Do you read the newspaper? Watch the news? People watch? I’ve heard numerous sources of inspiration people find for their writing. Ideas can come from almost anywhere in fact.
Now I’ve never dreamed a novel, although I’ve heard people who claimed they have, but I do find endless sources of ideas.
Interesting events are all around us. We just need to keep our eyes open and watch for them. I’ve found it works the same as it does for photography. It’s all about finding the interesting angle or unique point of view. Did you see the man walking down the street with his cane? Where was he going? Where was he coming from? Was he on the run from someone or on his way to commit a crime? Let your imagine run wild. You never know where it may lead you.
I love to people watch. Malls are great places for this, as are airports. Really anywhere will do as long as there are a lot of people around. My friends and I used to make up stories to go with the people as they passed by. Most of them probably wouldn’t make a good novel, but you never know what might spark another idea that is going to be the next best seller. So keep your eyes open, and most importantly keep a notebook handy to jot down those ideas as they come to you. One thing is for sure… no matter how confident you are you will remember it, you won’t. Keep those creative ideas flowing and keep on writing.
Do you have a unique story on where you once got a great idea? I’d love to hear about it. E-mail me at julieclements75@gmail.com.

Music while writing?

Do you listen to music while you write? I’ve met people who have to have music on, maybe even a specific artist, in order to write, while others have to have silence.

For me, it kind of depends on my mood. I often write with some music on for background noise. The type of music depends on what I’m writing. A serious or background scene calls for something slower, while an action scene calls for something more fast-paced. Is the character joyful? Then “happy” music is a must.

The key for me is to have the music low enough it is just background noise and I don’t get distracted by singing along with my favorite songs. I’d hate to end up with a verse of a song in the middle of my story.

Of course, I don’t always write with music. Sometimes quiet is more conducive to getting my creative juices flowing. Other times, I enjoy the sounds of nature, the birds singing and crickets chirping.

What do you like to listen to while you write?

Do you know what will happen?

The girl took a cautious step away from him, as if he were a wolf ready to attack.
“Are you okay?” he asked, holding out his hand to her as one would to a puppy.
She hesitated a few feet away, the light gleamed on the tears streaming down her cheeks. As she brushed away the tears, Tad’s stomach tightened. He’d never been good with tears, just ask his ex-wife. His first instinct was to flee, but the guilt of doing that once before held him there. He pressed his feet onto the pavement, refusing to let them take that first step that would lead him away.
The girl peered up at him and burst out crying again. “They’re gone,” she said between sobs.

Find out who’s gone and what happened to them in “The Eleventh Hour.” Check it out on Amazon or Barnes and Noble at:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/Z1e78O
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/10uGl7L

Thank you for the feedback

Thank you to one reader for my latest review on Amazon of “The Eleventh Hour.”
This person wrote: “The Eleventh Hour had me hooked in the first few pages. A man tries to reunite a young girl with her parents who have driven off from a rest stop without her. When law enforcement seem to be less than interested in returning the girl to her parents, the man realizes that sinister forces are keeping her from finding her family. The cross-country chase that ensues is fast-paced and, at the same time touching. This book is well written and I enjoyed it immensely.”
I continue to receive great feedback from those I talk to. It’s wonderful to hear people say they couldn’t put it down.
If you’re looking for a good book to read, check out my novel on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
Here are the links:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/Z1e78O
B&N: http://bit.ly/10uGl7L

No more losing those little pieces of paper

As I begin to write another novel, I am once again realizing the value of staying organized and making sure all of my characters and scenes are flushed out. I wanted to share with you one iPad ap I found that has been a tremendous help to me.

I had looked at several writing aps, but none of them really did what I had envisioned, then I found the ap A Novel Idea. It has been great so far.

You can put in your characters and it provides the form for the character sketch including such things as height, hair color, habits, traits, conflicts, motivation, skills and more. Things I hadn’t even thought about in fact. So far I have been able to create as many characters as I have wanted, so I don’t know if there is a limit.

In addition to fleshing out characters, you also can put together scenes, including location and setting, as well as take notes for a book.

You also can great a file for each novel, including setting, tone, location, genre and more. Then you can link scenes or characters to the corresponding book or books.

It has been a great organizational tool for me and I’m not losing those little scraps of paper anymore that said what hair color my newest character had.

The birth of a new book

With my first book, “The Eleventh Hour,” out and my next one in the final stages of being ready to be released, my next novel has already begun creeping into the back of my mind. Ideas are beginning to swim around in my head at random times throughout the day, pushing their way into whatever I may be doing at the time. I know what that means — it’s time to get on to a new story.

While revising, editing and preparing for publication is rewarding when you see it out there for others to read and begin to get feedback, there’s nothing better than the adventure of starting out on a new journey with your characters.

I’ve been letting ideas take shape and change for a while now, trying to find the perfect story to tell in this third adventure of Tad. Things come and go, some I forget, and others stick around and keep popping back into my head.

I think it’s time to start taking some notes on all of these random ideas and put them into a book. Let’s set off on another adventure. This time I’ll take you along with me on the ride… Here we go.